Widespread spying on Americans by the National Security Agency is just “the tip of the iceberg,” says intelligence officials, and the Obama administration is scrambling to find ways to stop Congress before it learns just how much probing of U.S. citizens is standard operating procedure authorized by the White Hosue.
“Americans don’t have privacy,” former intelligence officer David Shapiro tells Capitol Hill Blue. “The illusion of privacy and protection by our government disappeared long ago.”
As President Barack Obama faced growing voter anger and distrust over revelations of gathering of data on most Americans by the government, Congressional staff members charged with probing the abuse of power by the President are finding increasing administration-produced roadblocks constantly in their way.
Obama, they say, is using executive orders, claims of national security and other tricks to block any and all serious attempts to get to the bottom of the everyday intrusion into the lives of Americans.
A growing number feel that Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who revealed the program to a British newspaper reporter, could emerge as an American hero unless the Obama administration succeeds in stopping him before more secrets are revealed.
“The White House has pulled out all the stops to try and arrest Snowden,” says a former NSA staffer who asked not to be identified. “If they are successful, he may just disappear and never be heard from again.”
Snowden, currently in Russa where leaders of that country are protecting him, gave up a lucrative job, a pole-dancing girlfriend and a hedonistic life style in Hawaii when he went public about the everyday collection of phone records and other data on American citizens. Critics label him a traitor but other feel he is more of a patriot.
“The true story on Edward Snowden may never be known,” says Waring. “The Obama administration will stop at nothing to keep him quiet and away from those who want to know the truth.”
The truth, intelligence professionals tell Capitol Hill Blue, is that the collection of data and phone records is just a small part of everyday government snooping into the lives of Americans.
Other ongoing projects, they say, is the former Total Information Awareness System (TIA), which Congress thought it killed but was just buried in the Pentagon’s “black bag” program to hide its funding and existence during the administration of former President George W. Bush.
TIA, developed by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), allows real time government access of financial, travel and other information of any and all Americans on a 24/7 basis.
“TIA continues to function today and gathers data of Americans around the clock,” says a former NSA analyst.
Capitol Hill Blue has learned that TIA’s massive computer operation runs out of a nondescript building in the 3800 block of Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia. The only tip-off that something is going on inside that building is the presence, day and night, of police cars outside the building and threats by officers to arrest anyone observed taking photos of the structure.
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