Friday, June 21, 2013


Here's an interesting revelation, if true:
Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst who in 2005 blew the whistle on what he alleged was massive unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies, claimed Wednesday that the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

Speaking on "The Boiling Frogs Show," Tice claimed the intelligence community had ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

"Here's the big one ... this was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois," he said. "You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It's a big white house in Washington, D.C. That's who they went after, and that's the president of the United States now."
The folks at Fox & Friends are deeply concerned:
On Friday, Fox & Friends tackled the recent report about Bush-era whistleblower Russell Tice -- who came forward with information about warrantless wiretapping -- and his claim that the NSA wiretapped President Obama back in 2004. The report demonstrates why all Americans should care about this issue, they asserted, criticizing an intelligence community that appears to be "out of control."

... Alisyn Camerota characterized it as a "dragnet that basically administration officials were investigating anybody that they thought might be, I guess, guilty of something or suspicious or on the other side of them politically."

Noting that all this likely predates the Bush administration, Steve Doocy said the concern is that "the intel apparatus in this country has so much stuff on all of us, and our leaders as well, they’re just out of control. That’s what this guy kind of suggests."

"This is why going after journalists like James Rosen is not just a story Fox News cares about," Camerota argued. "All Americans should care about it. ... Journalists can't be afraid to do their job."

Fox had a somewhat different reaction when Tice began talking about this during the Bush years:
Former intelligence analyst Russell Tice was one of the the sources for the December 2005 New York Times expose of warrantless National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping that was taking place under the Bush administration....

When Tice wouldn’t appear on The O’Reilly Factor, O'Reilly had a producer [Jesse Watters] track Tice down. When the whistleblower refused to comment, O'Reilly called him "disgraceful."

O’Reilly’s animus toward Tice was matched by Fox host Sean Hannity, who called Democrats weak on defense for opposing NSA surveillance, which he now opposes under President Obama....

Partial transcript:
O'REILLY: ... "The Factor" wanted to know what evidence Mr. Tice has. Who exactly ordered what? NBC News didn't push him for any specific proof. No surprise there. So we respectfully called Tice, inviting him on the program. He said no. We found that strange. If you're trying to stop a wrongdoing you get the word out, right? So we sent "Factor" producer Jesse Watters to visit Russell Tice.


JESSE WATTERS, "FACTOR" PRODUCER: Hey, Russell, how are you? We're with FOX News. We want to ask you a few questions. You're claiming the Bush administration spied on the media? Who exactly was spied on?

RUSSELL TICE, FORMER NSA ANALYST: I have no comment for you guys. I've already spoken. That's enough.

WATTERS: I mean, you're going on national television and saying this. You've got to say who it is.

TICE: I've said what I'm going to say. That's it. That's enough. You guys are done.

... WATTERS: Who told you this? What evidence do you have of these kind of things? We're just worried about "The Factor" getting wiretapped.


O'REILLY: Well, the bottom line on this is that Tice made some very serious accusations. He went on NBC News, and he can't back them up. Now, if we're wrong, he can join us at any time. But if he can't back them up, he is disgraceful, and so is NBC News.
Fox seems much more trusting now, don't you think?


Victor said...

You'd think with all of the 180's they've done over the last few years, necks at FOX would have snapped, and turned their heads, facing in the other direction!

But if they did, they wouldn't notice - because Conservatives always look back: 'back to the future!'

BH said...

A skeptic's view: I think this whole controversy (whether concerning actions during this Admin or the last one) is purely symbolic, for the simple reason that I don't think current electronic surveillance practices will be abandoned by any Admin, regardless of the outcome of the current kerfuffle. Why? Because it seems to me that the only people in a position to know it's happening are the people doing it. We bozos out here can't tell one way or the other, nor can the uber-bozos we send to Congress or those they elevate to the Sup Ct. Ergo, so far as I can tell, this is kabuki. But, maybe I'm too jaded.

Steve M. said...

I agree -- these programs are never going to be abandoned. Right now, all tht's happening is that Obama's being discredited. That's certainly Fox's plan: discredit the president, with criticism of the plan as a means to that end, and only that end.

Joseph Nobles said...

Steve Doocy's assertion that this stuff predates the Bush Administration (i.e., the Clinton Administration) is noted for the record. Damn Clinton forcing Bush to spy on Obama in 2004!