President George W. Bush, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approved a vast domestic spying operation that went far beyond just using the National Security Agency to snoop into the private lives of Americans.

In an executive order signed by Bush in 2001, the efforts of all of America’s extensive intelligence communities were turned inwards, monitoring the day-to-day activities on U.S. citizens on a level that rival’s Russias famed KGB.

And, as with most activities of the Bush administration, most of the details of the domestic spying operation remain secret, hidden behind the cloak of “national security.” When Bush previously admitted the NSA’s role in domestic spying he was, as usual, telling only part of the real story.

Reports Dan Eggen in The Washington Post:

The Bush administration’s chief intelligence official said yesterday that President Bush authorized a series of secret surveillance activities under a single executive order in late 2001. The disclosure makes clear that a controversial National Security Agency program was part of a much broader operation than the president previously described.

The disclosure by Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, appears to be the first time that the administration has publicly acknowledged that Bush’s order included undisclosed activities beyond the warrantless surveillance of e-mails and phone calls that Bush confirmed in December 2005.

In a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), McConnell wrote that the executive order following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks included “a number of . . . intelligence activities” and that a name routinely used by the administration — the Terrorist Surveillance Program — applied only to “one particular aspect of these activities, and nothing more.”

“This is the only aspect of the NSA activities that can be discussed publicly, because it is the only aspect of those various activities whose existence has been officially acknowledged,” McConnell said.

The program that Bush announced was put under a court’s supervision in January, but the administration now wants congressional approval to do much of the same surveillance without a court order.

McConnell’s letter was aimed at defending Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales from allegations by Democrats that he may have committed perjury by telling Congress that no legal objections were raised about the TSP. Gonzales said a legal fight in early 2004 was focused on “other intelligence activities” than those confirmed by Bush, but he never connected those to Bush’s executive order.

But in doing so, McConnell’s letter also underscored that the full scope of the NSA’s surveillance program under Bush’s order has not been revealed. The TSP described by Bush and his aides allowed the interception of communication between the United States and other countries where one party is believed to be tied to al-Qaeda, so other types of communication or data are presumably being collected under the parts of the wider NSA program that remain hidden.


  1. Sandra,

    Thanks for the heads-up on this episode on History Channel. I will have to try to remember to watch it.

    BTW, been meaning to also thank you for convincing Doug to resurrect that “Comments” option.

    I know I’m not the only one who appreciates it.

    Proud Army Vet
    Vietnam Era
    Not a leftie, not a rightie,
    just down the middle.

  2. This information might not be of interest to many of you but Sunday Night on the History Channel they are going to present a 2 hour show on 9/11. It will feature the “conspiracies” that seem to stay in the minds of many of us. I don’t know the extent of the fear that Bush knew it was coming but if you are interested it should be a good watch. Check your schedule for the time.

  3. I’m surprised that it didn’t explode into flames.

    I don’t know what brand of ‘Christanity’ he subscribes to – but five will get you ten that we won’t be seeing him in the afterlife.

  4. Gene,

    Gee whiz, I had posted a reply to your comments yesterday and for some reason (must have forgotten to click the “Publish Comment” button) and it hasn’t shown up yet.

    Again, I thank you for your kind words. Not to worry about me stroking out — I just call it as I see it and then try to figure out what, if anything, I can do about it. Can’t get hung up in the emotional aspects of this, but rather focus on the factual aspects.

    Another thing that has crossed my mind is that not only must we keep contacting our own federal legislators in support of the oversight and investigations that are now underway since the Democratic Party is in the majority, but we also need to contact the Republican minority members who do not have the best interests of this country at heart — and god knows there’s too many of these fools:

    McConnell — what a whiney puke
    Graham — his voice sounds like nails on a blackboard
    Boehner — the cryer extraordinaire
    Sessions — another puke
    Bond — another puke
    Davis (Tom) — a pukehead apologist
    Specter — a pretend hero
    McHenry — freaky little creep
    Putnam — an equally freaky little creep

    All of the Republican presidential contenders — a bunch of losers in both common sense, logic and overall intelligence

    and that’s just for starters. There are very few of them who don’t conjure up feelings of controlled rage.

    A very good site for quick info on all of the Congressional representatives can be found at:

    It’s a site I go to often for a quick profile and also has links to their “official” websites.

    We HAVE to let them know in no uncertain terms that we are on to their traitorous and treasonous words and actions, and that we are more powerful than the Illuminati. We must let them know we are watching and we just begun to pass judgment.

    And, if we are veterans we must further tell them, we are the guardians of protecting and defending the US Constitution from ALL enemies — foreign and domestic, and that includes them.

  5. And…. Today, the news is that a “bipartisan” congress is going to give the President and Gonzales even more freedom to spy on americans before they go on summer vacation. I guess that tells us what we need to know.

    Oh, but they say it is only temporary. [Didn’t they say that about the Patriot Act?]

    Btw… how many of you are going to take a month off for vacation this summer?

  6. As I read many of the comments posted concerning this and other articles it strikes me as humorous in a very sad kind of way that the majority of citizens of this (once great nation) have NO ideal what is happening with this white house gain of criminals.

    Because of this (massive) lack of awareness brought on by simple minded individuals concern only with their needs explains how this gain of political thuggs did and continue to get away with murder.

    Only a fraction of the populas are paying attention and even fewer willing to do someing (if they could). Bush and his gain knows this so their arrogance will only grow.

    The individual American is no where near the same person that exsisted only a few decades ago. What does this mean for this nation that continues to preach individual freedoms?

    Probably a reality we never dreamed possible.

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