Hayden and Warrantless Surveillance
WASHINGTON - May 18 -
Professor of Communication at American University and author of the books Blowback, Science of Coercion and National Security Directives of the Reagan and Bush Administrations, Simpson said today: "There are two problems here: One is that the capability to collect this type of information is built into the networks involved. The other is that the NSA and other agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not regard themselves as bound by any law other than the president's say-so.
"What this means, at least for the moment, is that they intend to continue their pattern of abuse of civil liberties and their systematic deception of the public as to what is actually taking place. Administration officials come forward assuring the public that what they are doing is legal, but their concept of what is 'legal' makes the claim that virtually whatever the president does is legal. That's particularly true if Gen. Hayden becomes director of the CIA, but regardless, the actions of the president, the attorney general and the agencies that report to them have not changed. The claim that this type of surveillance is used only against terrorism suspects is flatly untrue."
Author of the book Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance and the Culture of Control, Jensen said today: "Big brother and big telecom are two functionally (slightly) different parts of the same machine, which has as its basis the centralization of power.... We're told again and again that so long as we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear. But that's all wrong. The truth is that so long as we go along with those in power, we have nothing to fear. There's a world of difference between those statements."
For more, see the IPA news release (Jan. 24, 2006) "Does Gen. Hayden Know What the Fourth Amendment Says?" Transcript and video of a January 2006 news conference with Hayden focusing on the FISA statute are available at Democracy Now!.