Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: The “Real” NSA Whistleblower Reacts to Obama’s “Reforms”

Peter B. Collins Presents Russell Tice

Russell Tice, one of the first NSA whistleblowers, comments on President Obama’s January 17 speech about the National Security Agency. Tice cautions that the modest changes Obama proposes do not even acknowledge the abuses that have occurred, and that the narrow focus on cosmetic changes to the mass collection of phone records distracts from the big picture of unconstitutional actions by NSA and other intel agencies. We note that not a single person was fired, and that Obama has ignored the clear perjury of DNI’s Clapper and NSA’s Alexander. Other than restricting the circle of surveillance to 2 hops, Obama did not embrace the findings of his hand-picked Review Panel or the thoughtful 21-point reform agenda presented by NSA whistleblowers. Tice also shares his views on Ed Snowden’s disclosures and Glenn Greenwald’s reporting.

Russell Tice is a Former NSA Intelligence Analyst & Capabilities Operations Officer Specializing in Offensive Information Warfare (O-IW). During his nearly 20 year career with various US government agencies he conducted intelligence missions related to the Kosovo War, Afghanistan, and the USS Cole Bombing in Yemen. In 2005 Tice helped spark a national controversy over claims that the NSA and the DIA were engaged in unlawful and unconstitutional wiretaps on US citizens, and later admitted that he was one of the sources that were used in the NY Times’ reporting on the wiretap activity in December 2005. On July 26, 2006, he was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury regarding violations of federal law.

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  1. Great interview. I share the frustration with the lack of public interest in the revelations. I think the condition is a multi layered problem:

    #1 Being spied on doesn’t seem to effect most people in their daily routines. And as is typically thought, if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide.
    #2 People feel disempowered and are not sure how to exert any leverage over the system.
    #3 If people had the true crisis of faith in the system that these revelations actually warrant and took responsibility for addressing that crisis, it would require a mobilization of personal and collective energy that would destabilize individual lives and the system, before a new equilibrium could be established. It’s materially and emotionally easier to deny the crisis and believe that somebody or some oversight agency is handling/going to handle it.

    Chris Hedges and William Binney appeared in an interview on the Real News Network, which is worth watching. Hedges connects the dots in a way I haven’t heard many people attempt: that an economic crisis or climate catastrophe will provide the impetus for using the full capabilities of the domestic surveillance state to quell the inevitable backlash being created by the criminal, crisis producing system.

    If people can understand this looming potential, as well as the very real undermining of investigative journalism, and the compromise of powerful figures at the mere implication of blackmail, then suddenly the notion that mass spying doesn’t apply to individuals no longer holds up. Then the fear of attempting to do SOMETHING can at least potentially be overcome by the understanding of the disasters currently unfolding and those that lie ahead.

  2. Also, Tice points out that there are people in the NSA who are ashamed of being a part of a disgraced system. If any such people are reading this, I would suggest to them that in fact we are all part of a disgraced system. America’s image is tarnished, and rightly so, and the instability of the system portends of a very dark future, and not simply because corruption extends globally. The only way to redemption for any of us, not just intelligence agents, is to start thinking outside of daily routines and purely personal interests and add to the momentum of principled whistleblowers and individuals who are trying to do right by truly transforming the situation. It is not about achieving utopia: rather it is about being able to look our fellow human beings in the eye and say that we understand the degree of damage being inflicted and we did everything we could.

    This effort will be accompanied by the realization that there are also un-reformable sociopaths woven into a pathological environment, who enjoy doing good people harm, people who are empowered to employ the “dark” methods to which Tice refers. Transformation will in part come through recognizing the existence of these people, exposing either them or the system they operate in, and in the process overcoming our fear of what may come by working together in the interest of what is right and good.

  3. mr TICE relays the message – the danger for GG and Snowdon – of NSA intentions to nail them with anything they can find.
    I needed to hear you ask how that squared with Snowdon/GG being ‘limited hangout’.

    • I know. Same thing happened with Russ’ opinion on Obama: he started as an avid advocate & believer, but eventually (it took him a few years) he turned around and admitted, and said he was too optimistic and naïve.

      I am not the interviewer for PBC show. As you know I would have pushed and forced for “Real” answers. On the other hand, I am proud of myself for being so very open/democratic and tolerant;-))) Seriously, I like the fact that we give platform to all views/opinions, and that I never interfere with editorial/production decisions.

    • It might be a good time to get Mr. Tice back on the program for a follow up. Especially after his dire warning to Greenwald about inside knowledge that the NSA was cooking up something for GG, should he step foot inside the USA again. Well he did and it doesn’t look like he’s been extraordinarily rendered or water boarded or even given a parking ticket. I wonder if he’s carrying the cache around with him, along with any passwords for the NSA-proof encryption he uses.

      Can we ask Mr. Tice if he’s still on board with the unethical drip drop of information? Can we ask him if the validation he received from Snowden’s release so far has relieved him of his better judgement? Mr. Tice is someone I respect and admire, so I’d love to hear about his developing comprehension of this situation.

      Good observations, remo, as always.

  4. Have crimes been committed against me, a US citizen, by the NSA?

    Are the Snowden docs evidence of those crimes?

    Do I have a right to see all of the evidence of crimes committed against me, without delay?

    Don’t try to game the media. You will end up losing. All of us can keep them in check if we have the docs. We have a right to know. Now.

    • Do my questions raise constitutional questions?

      • :-)) Way too constitutional! In fact, so constitutional that even the ACLU wouldn’t want to touch!! Seriously, it all starts with “Informed Citizenry”, because without it all the constitutional amendments we have wouldn’t mean a sh.. And to have informed citizenry we need the information; the truth/facts. Thus, your questions get into the mother of all constitutional rights. Kudos!

  5. It’s really sad how many supposed “opposition” groups are on the bandwagon in reporting on King OBushma’s so called reforms to the NSA. Really telling. Just the simple fact that they are all saying the same thing, struggling to convince the masses that the King is changing things, well it should be obvious. Perhaps we see through it having been awakened to the scale of deception being played out. .

  6. I want to hear about the “naughty” things Russ has done but won’t talk about… Sounds like he was involved with black-ops. How did he put it? -‘where you can really get into peoples lives and mess with them’… He talks as if this isn’t happening here yet, but look at what happened to Michael Hastings and his car… Did somebody (whether gov’t or gov’t contractor) hack into is car and take it over? -as even Richard Clarke has speculated. These sorts of things are going on domestically as they have been for a very long time… For instance, reading up on the Kennedy assassination and its cover-up will give you many examples of lives that were ended prematurely.

    • Another recent case of domestic black-ops would be that of Phillip Marshall and family, subject of a forthcoming feature-length docudrama…

      Wayne Madsen himself, who investigated the Marshall case, claims he was irradiated by his own cell-phone back in 2011, leaving a burn-mark on his shoulder and neck – he suspects he was targeted by a program Tice might be familiar with: WATERWITCH…

      “It now appears that the editor was subjected to a blast from WATERWITCH targeting and “finishing” signal boosting unit that works with the TYPHON equipment interrogator. The NSA document on WATERWITCH states the unit “emits tone and gives signal strength of target handset” from within a mile of the target.”

      It would seem then that we are already where Tice fears we could be heading.

    • jackdonovan says:

      You know, I actually think he was talking about “mind-control” type of non-kinetic weapons, starting at 47:10 when he talks about the “black world stuff”.

      “We’re no longer talking about just, basically, surveillance, we’re talking about, you know, moving into people’s lives and doing destructive things. I don’t talk much about that outside of the house.”

      • I think they were just hooking them up with cable tv. Maybe the same thing you said.

      • Thanks for the exact quote JD… I was going off of memory. What Madsen describes (+ he provides a photo) would certainly qualify as “black world stuff”, as would myriad other things – everything from assassination by disease (e.g. cancer virus injection) to insanity inducement. Again, this goes back a long ways, for instance the dosing of unwitting targets with LSD beginning in the early 1950s.

  7. Frank Olsen, and the murder of Dr. Mary Sherman are two instances that prove the CIA has been involved in really nasty experiments on the unknowing and helpless public. From LSD bombing a village in France to developing weaponized cancer even to the heart attack drug derived from a varient of the nightshade plant. It’s a horribly dark world they have utilized for nefarious ends. I’m continually amazed how easily the public can be distracted when whistleblowers bring secrets like this into the light of day. Bread and circus indeed.

  8. Link (YouTube): Luke Rudkowski speaks with NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice

    Luke does a pretty good interview with Mr. Tice, which focused on his vindication by the Snowden docs. His claim that 75% of what he’d talked about had already been backed up by the Snowden docs was complimented with the claim that the rest would come out, with time. They do not, unfortunately, approach the question of How much time?

    Still, this was a good chance for Mr. Tice to present his story as one that has been vindicated and to clear his name. And he’s earned that for sure.

    My questions for Mr. Tice on his next BFP go-around:

    What do you think happened to the NSA’s plan (the one he alluded to at the end of the interview at the top of this post) to “get” Greenwald, when he visited the US?
    Does he still choose to side with the rationale that hitting the media over the head with a 2×4 every few weeks is better than wasting the precious cache in a single dump? Even though, we have obviously been stuck with a meta-data-only meme, with all eyes toward reform, instead of the truth about all phone call audio content being recorded and respect for the people’s right to know, the benefit of transparency, the benefit of competing analyses, the constitution, with an eye toward prosecution and dismantling of the NSA?
    Will there be a time when he will be able to tell us what he knows about the shoot down of flight 93?

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