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Rick Moran


July 28, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Ordinary NSA analysts have access to trillions of phone calls and emails and can easily read and listen to your communications without a warrant from the FISA court.

This is according to Glenn Greenwald who appeared on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

Today on “This Week,” Glenn Greenwald – the reporter who broke the story about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs – claimed that those NSA programs allowed even low-level analysts to search the private emails and phone calls of Americans.

“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they’ve collected over the last several years,” Greenwald told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “And what these programs are, are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things. It searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.”

Greenwald explained that while there are “legal constraints” on surveillance that require approval by the FISA court, these programs still allow analysts to search through data with little court approval or supervision.

“There are legal constraints for how you can spy on Americans,” Greenwald said. “You can’t target them without going to the FISA court. But these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents.”

“And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst,” he added.

It may be heresy to some, but I remember Glenn Greenwald when he was a ranting, frothing left wing blogger on a Blogger site, spewing the most vile, exaggerated nonsense toward the objects of his sneering derision. He was a serial exaggerator back in those days:

One could spend every day highlighting the contrast between the pious moral standards preached by many Bush supporters and the lowly character smears and political filth they peddle. But sometimes their hypocrisy is so severe that it makes one’s head spin, and at least I have great difficulty ignoring it even when an argument can be made that it should be ignored.

No exaggeration or hyperbole there, huh?

To my mind, he has never been a reliable source and only the simple, naive honesty of Edward Snowden has given this story any credibility at all.

But given Greenwald’s penchant for drama, is it beyond imagining that he would dress up the facts a bit to garner a few headlines?

But the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee told Stephanopoulos he would be shocked if such programs existed.

“It wouldn’t just surprise me, it would shock me,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, said on “This Week” Sunday.

Chambliss said he recently spent time with NSA officials and was assured that the programs Greenwald describes have been exaggerated.

“I was back out at NSA just last week, spent a couple hours out there with high and low level NSA officials,” Chambliss said. “And what I have been assured of is that there is no capability at NSA for anyone without a court order to listen to any telephone conversation or to monitor any e-mail.”

Chambliss said that any monitoring of emails is purely “accidental.”

“In fact, we don’t monitor emails. That’s what kind of assures me is that what the reporting is is not correct. Because no emails are monitored now,” Chambliss said. “They used to be, but that stopped two or three years ago. So I feel confident that there may have been some abuse, but if it was it was pure accidental.”

Forget comparing the credibility of Chambliss, the NSA officials, and Greenwald. Snowden himself gave us a hint of this capability, but qualified it by saying that there were periodic computer audits to ensure that analysts stuck with the rules. Snowden also hinted at technical obstructions (too easily circumvented, he thought) to performing the kind of searches Greenwald is alleging.

My guess is that the truth is probably not as dramatic as Greenwald suggests. Greenwald is a strutting egoist, an ideological absolutist who tends to exaggerate the characteristics of his political foes or, in this case, the object of his hate. I am skeptical at his claim of easy access to phone and email records.

If it’s true, someone with a lot more credibility than Glenn Greenwald is going to have to come forward.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Greenwald... let's just say he hates the United States because it hasn't turned him into a household name living in luxury. Everything he's ever done -- from playing at lawyer for wannabe murderer Matt Hale to leaving the country to sock-puppeting in his own defense -- is about making Glenn Greenwald look better.

I trust him about as far as I trust Obama.

And I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Snowden and he have a romantic history.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey Rick, send Doug Hagmann an email at

He can tell you about the night in May 2013 when he wrapped up a phone call with a person who appears to be Fox News Channel's James Rosen (judging by the description Mr. Hagmann puts in his sworn affidavit). The affidavit's text and the NSA's stiff arm, drop dead response to his FOIA to see the FISA warrants that should've been acquired to authorize an individual wiretap on him or James Rosen are here:
links to the NSA's FOIA response

Either more mainstream conservatarian sites like PJM have been unaware of Hagmann's highly credible story or they're simply afraid to touch it (due to Hagmann's 'New World Order' beliefs), or both.

The fanatical NSA defenders at the Naval War College and elsewhere call Russ Tice a liar for saying Obama was spied on by NSA in 2004, but offer no evidence that he's lied or has a track record of lies. And they won't even touch Hagmann's affidavit with a ten foot pole. So there you have two cases that have nothing to do with Snowden, Putin, or Wikileaks, which the entire fanatical NSA defender cabal keeps squawking about non-stop because they don't want you looking over there, at examples of NSA spying domestically for what appear to be explicitly political reasons.

As for the Guardian, you know what I find ironic about this whole business? They were about as anti-Kremlin and anti-Putin as they could be prior to this stuff, now they allegedly hate America too and get no credit among the fanatical Russophobes for publishing Luke "the FSB was gaslighting me even while my wife worked for the state funded RIA Novosti in the same building as RT" Harding. None!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's the nutshell from the affidavit:

Subsequent to the telephone conversation that concluded at 12:06:17, your affiant replaced the receiver on the telephone. At that moment, the telephone emitted a short ring, perhaps best described as a muffled ring or a “chirp.“Initially, your affiant believed it to be a simple ring-back, much like those occasionally experienced during the course of otherwise normal telephone use. It is important to note, however, that the sound made by the telephone did not have that same characteristics as a ring back.

Curious because of the ring tone, your affiant looked at the caller ID displayed and was startled to see the following on the telephone caller ID screen:“UT NSA DATA REC CTR.”Your affiant immediate muted the telephone and picked up the receiver, hearing the following message in a male voice:

”...your notification that the Utah NSA Data Recording Center successfully captured this landline communication under file # [I was unable to copy the numbers as they were spoken quickly]. Refer to senior duty officer for access code under file #[this appeared to be a different alpha-numeric sequence].”
It should be noted that your affiant copied the wording of the verbal message by hand onto a stenographer’s notebook kept by the telephone. No mechanical recording devices were accessible at this time. After the final number was spoken, your affiant heard a distinct “click” on the line, followed by silence. Interestingly, the caller ID information completely disappeared from the telephone at the instant of the “click.” Accordingly, your affiant has no photographic documentation to illustrate or verify the information provided herein. Additionally, the re-dial capabilities of your affiant’s telephone were rendered non-functional following this event.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Then little grey men came out of his closet and probed him!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He works for that paragon of virtue, The Guardian. Aren't they rabidly anti-Ameddican[sic]?

This Greenwald reporter is merely like a lot of other Brits [mostly English] who're just sullen and disgruntled, still, because England hasn't "ruled the waves and waived the rules" now for a long, long time.

But, boy-o-boy, he sure ain't a-wastin' no time a-cashin' in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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