NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, journalists, and members of Congress :: Alternative Press Review :: Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream: “NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, journalists, and members of Congress
By Wayne Madsen
NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, and their journalist and congressional contacts. WMR has learned that the National Security Agency (NSA), on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies — including the CIA and DIA — and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices.
The journalist surveillance program, code named ‘Firstfruits,’ was part of a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) program that was maintained at least until October 2004 and was authorized by then-DCI Porter Goss. Firstfruits was authorized as part of a DCI ‘Countering Denial and Deception’ program responsible to an entity known as the Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC). Since the intelligence community’s reorganization, the DCI has been replaced by the Director of National Intelligence headed by John Negroponte and his deputy, former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden.
Firstfruits was a database that contained both the articles and the transcripts of telephone and other communications of particular Washington journalists known to report on sensitive U.S. intelligence activities, particularly those involving NSA. According to NSA sources, the targeted journalists included author James Bamford, the New York Times’ James Risen, the Washington Post’s Vernon Loeb, the New Yorker’s Seymour Her”