After closely following the National Security Agency story for two years (16+ months before anyone ever heard the name, Edward Snowden), I can honestly say that blogger and journalist Marcy Wheeler's real-time coverage of this incredible chapter in the Orwellian history of our nation's clandestine underbelly blows the doors off of virtually everyone (as she's again reminding us, in multiple stories over the past day), in terms of her intensive and incisive analysis of the hard information and public statements that are being released by our government in the wake of the Snowden document leaks this past June.
Compared to Wheeler's coverage of this story--and of the NSA, in general--nobody on the planet holds a candle to her work. Maybe that's why Newsweek has referred to her as "The Woman Who Knows The NSA's Secrets."
Once again in Pulitzer-worthy style, on Tuesday, she pointed out what virtually no other working blogger or journalist has the understanding, gumption nor chops to decipher, and it's nothing less than stunning, page one/lead news that virtually no captured mainstream media outlet will cover, let alone run directly under their masthead or at the top of their broadcast. In multiple posts at her Emptywheel blog, Ms. Wheeler is reporting that not only has Director of National Intelligence James Clapper just acknowledged that the NSA--essentially admitting that the organization is in direct violation of its original, government-chartered mandate--surveils this country's entire domestic population; but, as a byproduct of Marcy's extensive knowledge-base of the minutiae contained within the related documents released by our government, to date, she factually reports how the NSA engages in these efforts for reasons not even remotely related to international terrorism.
James Clapper Confirms NSA Engages in Domestic SurveillanceWheeler continues on to note: ""Clapper's suggestion that all Snowden might want to expose only "domestic surveillance.' The notion that US corruption of encryption standards, or US collection of US person data overseas, or Five Eyes creation of the architecture of tyranny (turnkey tyranny and architecture of oppression are terms Snowden has used), is not every bit as important as exposing the dragnet, he misunderstands the power of the dragnets he oversees."
By: emptywheel Tuesday February 4, 2014 8:30 pm
"In today's [House Judiciary Committee] threat hearing, Jim Langevin tried to get James Clapper to provider him with talking points he could use in radio interviews about the seriousness of the Snowden leaks. (39:15 and following)
Langevin pressed, asking Clapper to quantify in some way what he had briefed the committee that the "vast majority of data that's been stolen, that we've been able to assess to date, has had very little to do with just surveillance."
Clapper hedged and hedged, until Langevin got him to say that "less than 10% of what Snowden might potentially have taken (but they don't know one way or another) has to do with domestic surveillance."Clapper: That's also difficult. I can just say that the vast vast majority of what has been potentially compromised -- as I indicated in my oral statement -- goes way way beyond the revelations about domestic surveillance which I was given to understand that was his primary concern. What he potentially -- what he accessed, what he scraped, what he potentially made off with is, uh, transcends that. So it's quite serious.
Langevin: Can you say--
Clapper: It's hard pressed to ascribe a number.
Langevin: Can you give a, is it 10% or,
Clapper: I would say that probably less than 10% has to do with domestic surveillance.
"But finally, there's Clapper's use of the term "domestic surveillance" (which in his opening statement he called "so-called domestic surveillance") and his suggestion that less than 10% of Snowden's leaks address it.
The NSA has been telling us for months and months they don't engage in domestic surveillance.