We’re in for some real surprises

And I mean the unpleasant kind…

Reports now indicate a former NSA staffer, Russell Tice, will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee next week, and his testimony is supposed to reveal that the NSA domestic spying reported to date is just the tip of the iceberg.  He intends to explain that the unlawful spying on American citizens goes well beyond monitoring phone calls and e-mail, and even beyond accumulating all phone records for all citizens.  Keep in mind “[h]e was one of the sources that revealed the administration’s warrantless domestic spying program to the New York Times.”

A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said Thursday he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens. …

[Tice] said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden. … “I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It’s pretty hard to believe,” Tice said. “I hope that they’ll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn’t exist right now.” …

Tice said his information is different from the Terrorist Surveillance Program that Bush acknowledged in December and from news accounts this week that the NSA has been secretly collecting phone call records of millions of Americans. “It’s an angle that you haven’t heard about yet,” he said. … He would not discuss with a reporter the details of his allegations, saying doing so would compromise classified information and put him at risk of going to jail. He said he “will not confirm or deny” if his allegations involve the illegal use of space systems and satellites.

Can we even be surprised anymore?  I mean, we’ve learned the government readily lies to us about pretty much everything now.  Bush promotes within the Executive Branch an environment of wanton and extensive law breaking.  While we may never hear all of the details revealed in Tice’s testimony next week, I fear its content will bring us significantly closer to the truth: we now live in a police-state dictatorship.

As disturbing as I find all of this illegal and unconstitutional activity, more troubling is that recent polls show most Americans think all this KGB-style citizen monitoring and suspension of our rights is really OK.  How disgusting to believe it acceptable to relinquish our liberties in the name of security, and that slippery slope leads ultimately to one thing: the end of the American way of life.  We might as well declare the Constitution dead, the law meaningless, and all citizens the property of the state.

Oh, wait.  I guess that declaration has already been made.

[UPDATE 5/13/2006 @ 12:20 PM CDT]: I want to correct my reference to “recent polls [showing] most Americans think all this KGB-style monitoring … is really OK.”  Washington Post yesterday released a poll which seemed to indicate a large majority of Americans support the NSA’s illegal domestic spying.  Oddly enough, and something I should have caught, the poll was released the same day that news of a much larger spying apparatus was made public.  I now know that poll is either a blatant lie or an intentional obfuscation of the facts.  Newsweek today released a poll that shows quite the opposite: “According to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 53 percent of Americans think the NSA’s surveillance program ‘goes too far in invading people’s privacy,’ while 41 percent see it as a necessary tool to combat terrorism.”  I trust Newsweek’s results in this regard as it must account for yesterday’s news regarding Ma Bell’s cooperation with Big Brother.  WaPo‘s continuing blind allegiance to the Bush régime is troubling; this is just the latest example.

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