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Dec 02 2013

Government Using Illegal Surveillance for Blackmail

In a replay of the 1960s COINTELPRO program, Glenn Greenwald is now publishing documents that show that the federal government has been using their illegal surveillance programs to find dirt on “radicalizers” in order to blackmail or discredit them.

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.

The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues…

“Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence,” Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence, told The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday.

Yet Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said these revelations give rise to serious concerns about abuse. “It’s important to remember that the NSA’s surveillance activities are anything but narrowly focused — the agency is collecting massive amounts of sensitive information about virtually everyone,” he said.

“Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” he added. “The NSA says this personal information won’t be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines ‘abuse’ very narrowly.”

Yeah, and you should trust them, they’re only going after the really bad guys. You know, like they did with Martin Luther King and other peaceful civil rights advocates under J. Edgar Hoover. The government would never lie to you and abuse their power and you’re a communist if you dare suggest that they would.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    colnago80

    Speaking of J. Edger Himmler, sometimes blackmail works both ways. Back in the 1960s, the FBI was investigating Congressman Cornelius Gallagher for, among other things, accepting bribes. Gallagher phoned J. Edger’s pal Roy Cohn and informed him that if the FBI persisted, he would go on the House floor every day during the open speech time and talk about J. Edger’s homosexuality and his relationship with his deputy, Clyde Tolson. Oddly enough, the FBI dropped the investigation. Ten years later, after J. Edger had gone to his reward, Gallagher was caught up in the ABSCAM affair, ultimately convicted, and sent to the slammer. Like OJ, the fact that he dodged one bullet gave him the notion that he was invulnerable.

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    Imagaine what the intelligence services could accomplish under President Ted Cruz.

  3. 3
    left0ver1under

    It was revealed that the Canadian government collaborated (and I use that word deliberately) with the US during the G20 thing in Toronto.

    http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/869449/playing-with-words-language-key-to-g20-spying-says-civil-liberties-group/

    They weren’t worried about muslims blowing up bombs, they were targeting “issue-based extremists” (re: human rights, environmentalists, economic reformers, etc.). You know – the really dangerous people, the ones who don’t carry bombs or guns.

  4. 4
    matty1

    “Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal

    I think I see your problem right there.

  5. 5
    DaveL

    Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence,

    Merciless hell, what are the unlawful ones?

  6. 6
    Modusoperandi

    “…like they did with…peaceful civil rights advocates under J. Edgar Hoover.”

    “If you don’t stop what you’re doing, well, we’ve got these pictures here of you under J. Edgar Hoover…”

  7. 7
    Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi writes:

    “If you don’t stop what you’re doing, well, we’ve got these pictures here of you under J. Edgar Hoover…”
    [bolded by Heath]

    I always visualize it the other way around.

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath, interesting…

    (sits back in chair, grabs notepad)

    And how does that make you feel?

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi writes:

    And how does that make you feel?

    Ironic.

  10. 10
    Crimson Clupeidae

    …and Mr. Heath wins a shiny internets!

    Well played, sir.

  11. 11
    LightningRose

    Like chocolate and peanut butter, MO and MH are two great tastes that taste great together.

    Any Freudian implications in my above statement are entirely your own.

  12. 12
    colnago80

    Re Milchael Heath @ #7

    Being as J. Edger was a mama’s boy, I visualize him as a bottom.

  13. 13
    matty1

    Am I alone in not visualizing J Edgar Hoover over or under anybody?

  14. 14
    pough

    @matty1

    You’re seeing him inside somebody, then?

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