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Former NSA Analyst: NSA 'Monitored All Communications' of Americans, Targeted Journalists

"The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications -- faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications."

Last night on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," former analyst for the National Security Agency Russell Tice revealed that the NSA had collected "monitored all communications" of Americans and specifically targeted journalists.

TICE: The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications -- faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications. And it didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made any foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications. [...] But an organization that was collected on were U.S. news organizations and reporters and journalists.

OLBERMANN: To what purpose? I mean, is there a file somewhere full of every e-mail sent by all the reporters at the "New York Times?" Is there a recording somewhere of every conversation I had with my little nephew in upstate New York? Is it like that?

TICE: If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything. Yes. It would be everything.

Tice, a major whistleblower who helped reveal President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program to the New York Times in 2005, also told Olbermann that the agency sought specifically "to be deceptive" to prevent congressional committees to learn more about the program, calling it "a shell game":

Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
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