Confirmed: NSA Spied On Americans Solely On Bush’s Orders
By D.B. Hirsch
March 20, 2014 10:06 am - NewsBehavingBadly.com
No court approval was requested when President George W. Bush decided that the NSA was to conduct surveillance on phone and email data of Americans.
In a court filings on Monday, government lawyers said that the Internet program ran in parallel with a program gathering so-called metadata about telephone calls. The counterterrorism efforts operated under presidential authority before a judge approved them in July 2004, said a 2007 court filing made public Monday by the Justice Department (and posted here.)
“After the 9/11 attacks and pursuant to an authorization of the President, [redacted] the NSA [redacted] the bulk collection of non-content information about telephone calls and Internet communications (hereafter ‘metadata’) activities that enable the NSA to uncover the contacts [redacted] of members or agents of al Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations,” a senior NSA official wrote in an October 2007 declaration originally filed under seal as part of an effort to defeat litigation about the snooping Bush ordered.
“Specifically, the President authorized the the NSA to collect metadata related to Internet communications for the purpose of conducting targeted analysis to track Al Qaeda-related networks. Internet metadata is header/router/addressing information, such as the ‘to,’ ‘from,’ ‘cc,’ and ‘bcc’ lines, as opposed to the body or ‘re’ lines, of a standard e-mail. Since July 2004, the collection of Internet metadata has been conducted pursuant to an Order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” the still-unidentified official from NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate continued.