Because of the excessive secrecy exercised by the U.S. government, whistleblowing has become a necessity for American democracy, a reality that struck home to former FBI official Coleen Rowley and other whistleblowers as they encountered Benjamin Franklin’s words in Germany.
Over-classification of U.S. government information is a grave threat to the Republic, giving politicians and bureaucrats the power to hide facts that aren’t really sensitive but are vital to a meaningful public debate, such as the IG report on President Bush’s surveillance program, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.
In January when former Western intelligence officials, including from the U.S. National Security Agency, toured the old offices of East Germany’s Stasi, it was a look back into a dystopian past but also a chilling reminder of how far modern surveillance has come in the past quarter century, writes Silkie Carlo.
Exclusive: For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.
Retired National Security Agency official William Binney, who challenged decisions to ignore the Fourth Amendment in the government’s massive — and wasteful — collection of electronic data, faced career and legal repercussions. Because of his courage, he is being honored by former intelligence officials.
Exclusive: Modern U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine doesn’t just target people in faraway lands where the U.S. military is battling some uprising. It also takes aim at Americans whose dissent might undermine those wars, possibly explaining the strange arrest of Ray McGovern, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.
The complexity of the National Security Agency’s spying programs has made some of its ex-technical experts the most dangerous critics since they are among the few who understand the potential totalitarian risks involved, as ex-NSA analyst William Binney showed in an interview with journalist Lars Schall.