Although I haven't much time to write, I must register an ongoing disgust with this kind of tripe
. It's as though everyone in the media has been given orders to demonize Ed Snowden, while doing everything possible to distract us from the things he has said.
Most of our pseudo-journalists have decided that Snowden is a bad guy because he didn't work within the system. They refuse to recognize that those NSA whistleblowers who did
go that route found themselves on the receiving end of more sheer shit than any human being should ever have to deal with. How can you ask someone to work within the system when he is trying to warn you that the system has become a nightmare?
Here's the real story, folks: It just doesn't matter
whether or not the NSA minimizes information on American citizens. The big secret our news media won't tell you is that our intelligence apparat works hand in glove with the UK's
. Their version of the NSA is called GCHQ. Just as we have no laws against spying on Brits, they have no laws against spying on Americans. They have their Prism and we have ours.
GCHQ routinely shares information on American citizens with the CIA, NSA and FBI. Routinely
So who's kidding whom?
The link above goes to Craig Murray's column. These quotes deserve study, not skimming:
I am astonished that still none of our pusillanimous media has published the simple fact that NSA and GCHQ share ALL intelligence reports with each other. Every member of the House of Commons who has ever been in the most junior ministerial position knows this – that amounts to hundreds. So do at least fifty thousand current or retired civil service and military personnel. So do the majority of senior journalists.
“Once such data is in the hands of the US authorities, there is no clear legal framework that prevents it from being shared with UK authorities. The Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994 place MI5, MI6 and GCHQ on a statutory basis, and permit those bodies to receive any information from foreign agencies in the ‘proper discharge’ of their statutory functions.
In fact GCHQ do not have to ask, and NSA do not have specifically to initiate. US citizens are included in the UK Prism operation, and UK citizens are included in the US Prism operation, and the swapping of resulting intelligence reports is an automatic process. So the UK takes the view it is not breaching the guidelines about spying on its own citizens as it is not REQUESTING the NSA to do anything, and vice versa.
“Under that broad principle, UK agencies may receive and examine data from the US about UK citizens without having to comply with any of the legal requirements they would have to meet if the same agencies had tried to gather that information themselves.”
One of Murray's readers seems to have a background in British intelligence. His words have the ring of truth:
It is not exaggerated in the least. GHCQ and MI6 share all intelligence reports, and so do MI6 and the CIA. I saw such reports every day of my working life for 20 years, so I can assure you I perfectly well know of what I speak.
When you receive the reports, signal intelligence (SIGINT) from GCHQ and NSA is covered in a blue jacket, human intelligence (HUMINT) from MI6 and CIA is in a red jacket. The only way you can tell US from UK intelligence is by the numeric code indicator at the start of the report. The format is precisely the same.
This has been going on quite a while, of course. The following comes from David Leigh's excellent 1988 book The Wilson Plot
In 1947, the highly classified UKUSA treaty arranged by Atlee and Bevin re-launched a worldwide signals intelligence collection system. Britain and the U.S. would pool everything between them, both the work and the Intelligence 'product'. Australia, Canada and later New Zealand would join in, but with less access.
The 1947 agreement was all about cables, not telephone calls; nevertheless, that's when the great "intel swap" system began. When are our journalists going to wipe that brown off their noses and start telling us what's really