ITWASSOOTED: firstfruits

Friday, February 24, 2006


February 24, 2006 -- NSA expands surveillance of journalists. According to NSA sources, the signals intelligence agency, which has been at the center of a political storm over President Bush's warrantless wiretaps of U.S. citizens, has expanded the surveillance of journalists identified by the Bush administration as alleged recipients of classified information. The surveillance database, part of the intelligence community's "Denial and Deception" operations and once known as "Firstfruit" until WMR revealed its existence last May, now includes transcripts of phone calls and e-mails between journalists and their contacts and associates.
NSA sources revealed that the renamed Firstfruit database now contains signals intelligence intercepts, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18), and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, of individuals who have communicated via phone, fax, and email with journalists who include James Bamford, James Risen, Seymour Hersh, Vernon Loeb, Bill Gertz, John C. K. Daly, and this editor, Wayne Madsen, among a growing list of others.
NSA's spying on this editor must entail some surprises for the White House. Although they and their right-wing minions consider this site "fringe" and "conspiratorial," they must be surprised at the number of calls and e-mails received by this editor from such "mainstream media" outlets as the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, Fox, MS-NBC, Boston Globe, Salon, Knight-Ridder Tribune, and yes, even Rupert Murdoch's British flagship publication, The Times of London. Why does a "fringe" web publisher deserve the high-level attention of the Bush administration and its law-violating intelligence officials? Perhaps its because the Bush administration has damaged the U.S. intelligence infrastructure to the point where this web site is now a primary steam vent for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials who've had enough of the neo-cons and their GOP enablers.

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