Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NSA Whistle-blower: Wings of Justice Award Winner

Russell Tice used to work at the National Security Agency (NSA), which has been at the center of the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping.

Now, Tice is a whistleblower.

He was a source for James Risen's explosive book, "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration," and he'd like to testify under oath before Congress about the problems that he sees facing the NSA and compliance with the law. Although he's promised not to disclose any classified information, the NSA has prohibited him from talking with elected representatives of the American people.

In a recent interview, Tice reveals his concerns about protecting the privacy of Americans: "With [James Risen's] book, someone has come across, and basically reported, a crime.... Now we're claiming after the fact, to do some damage control, that 'oh no, now the terrorists know.' Come on, let's be rational about this. Do we think that the terrorists are just plain stupid? Do we think that, especially after 9/11, the terrorists aren't smart enough to think that maybe the United States might be interested in the communications they conduct and how they conduct them?"

In the Bush Administration, valuing the Constitution above being a "team player" will get you fired. Tice even says he voted for Bush, but his loyalty remains to the nation.

That's reason enough to honor Russell Tice with this week's BuzzFlash "Wings of Justice Award."

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