With all of the talk regarding today’s mislead ‘government shutdown’, there is little talk about how the NSA and TSA will continue to operate. There is even less talk about the fact that these agencies, which exist to destroy privacy, are really responsible for draining our taxpayer dollars.
Just consider one of the latest NSA scandals where taxpayer dollars were used to fund the jealous and perverted spying on women. A National Security Agency employee used the organization’s surveillance tools to intercept the phone calls of nine women and spy on his lover. That case was simply the most brazen incident of abuses of power by NSA employees.
The truly disturbing thing is that the abuse was only uncovered when the unidentified employee’s girlfriend became suspicious that she was being spied upon and alerted NSA officials. NSA officials apparently didn’t realize that one of their operatives was abusing surveillance technology in such a blatant manner, a report on the subject indicates.
The incidents occurred between 1998 and 2003, the NSA’s Inspector General Dr. George Ellard stated in a letter to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The letter was written in response to questions raised after a comment by NSA Director General Keith Alexander. The letter doesn’t state what happens to the peeping Tom agent.
Pattern of Surveillance Abuse Exposed
In testimony to the Senate, Alexander had said he knew of only 12 documented cases of abuse of NSA surveillance powers. Grassley sent the General a letter asking for details of the incidents. He got a few details but didn’t get the names of the spooks involved.
The incidents uncovered included:
A member of the military who used surveillance tools to read his former girlfriends’ emails.
An NSA employee who obtained details about his girlfriend’s telephone calls.
An employee who obtained his partner’s phone data.
An NSA employee who eavesdropped on her boyfriend’s phone calls to see if he was cheating on her.
An NSA employee who regularly looked up the telephone records of people she met socially. The woman also looked up the phone records of her boyfriend and his relatives.
None of the individuals involved in these activities were prosecuted. At least two NSA employees who were involved in these incidents are still on the job. They kept their high paying positions and security clearances and received only a written warning. The others all either resigned or retired early after the abuses were uncovered.
These abuses indicate a culture of surveillance at the NSA in which employees believe they can violate anybody’s privacy and get away with it. It’s disturbing to see that those who violate the Constitution for such petty reasons have nothing to fear from federal prosecutors. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden faces criminal charges for exercising his First Amendment rights and exposing such abuses.
It’s safe to assume that these cases are only the tip of the iceberg. There are probably hundreds of other incidents of such abuse that go undetected.