The NSA thing is getting bigger than anyone could every imagine:
A little-known spy agency that analyzes imagery taken from the skies has been spending significantly more time watching U.S. soil.
In an era when other intelligence agencies try to hide those operations, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, is proud of that domestic mission.
He said the work the agency did after hurricanes Rita and Katrina was the best he’d seen an intelligence agency do in his 42 years in the spy business.
“This was kind of a direct payback to the taxpayers for the investment made in this agency over the years, even though in its original design it was intended for foreign intelligence purposes,” Clapper said in a Thursday interview with The Associated Press.
All of the sudden that movie “Enemy of the State” seems to be coming to life.
Two New Jersey public interest lawyers sued Verizon Communications Inc. for $5 billion Friday, claiming the phone carrier violated privacy laws by turning over phone records to the National Security Agency for a secret government surveillance program.
Attorneys Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer filed the lawsuit Friday afternoon in federal district court in Manhattan, where Verizon is headquartered.
The lawsuit asks the court to stop Verizon from turning over any more records to the NSA without a warrant or consent of the subscriber.
Upping the ante in what may be a high-stakes legal battle, an Upstate New York lawyer filed a $20 billion class-action lawsuit against Verizon last week, charging that the company violated customer confidentiality in aiding warrantless eavesdropping by a federal spy agency.
The civil suit is the second to challenge corporations for helping the National Security Agency carry out a secret order by the president to spy on communications between people in the United States and parties overseas without first obtaining warrants.
So in just two days we have already seen $25 billion in lawsuits filed against only one of the companies involved. This is getting huge, but the implications could also be skyrocketing as pointed out by Think Progress:
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.
This is growing into the largest scandal our nation has ever seen. Watergate will seem like a parking ticket in contrast to this. Congress needs to put everything else on hold right now and just address this situation. I know the Democrats don’t have control but they do have the power to shut down Congress. They can easily prevent a quorum or do another shut-down similar to what Harry Reid did in November. If all else fails then they can start filibustering every single vote that comes to the floor. Anything to show the Republicans we are not going to stand by and let Bush and his crime family destroy everything America stands for.
People must go to jail for this and some of those people are sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.