CNN reports that Congress is investigating charges that the NSA, as part of a program designed to monitor terrorist suspects, engaged in illegal wiretapping of American citizens overseas, including military officers in Iraq (as always, all emphases are mine):
The congressional oversight committees said Thursday that the Americans targeted included military officers in Iraq who called friends and family in the United States.
The allegations were made by two former military intercept operators on a television news report Thursday evening.
A terrorist surveillance program instituted by the Bush administration allows the intelligence community to monitor phone calls between the United States and overseas without a court order -- as long as one party to the call is a terror suspect.
Adrienne Kinne, a former U.S. Army Reserves Arab linguist, told ABC News the NSAwas listening to the phone calls of U.S. military officers, journalists and aid workersoverseas who were talking about "personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism."
Disgusting. The calls monitored included deeply personal calls to wives and girlfriends, and apparently, when some personnel complained, they were told to shut up and keep listening:
David Murfee Faulk, a former U.S. Navy Arab linguist, said in the news report that he and his colleagues were listening to the conversations of military officers in Iraq who were talking with their spouses or girlfriends in the United States.
According to Faulk, they would often share the contents of some of the more salacious calls stored on their computers, listening to what he called "phone sex" and "pillow talk."
Both Kinne and Faulk worked at the NSA listening facility at Fort Gordon, Georgia. They told ABC that when linguists complained to supervisors about eavesdropping on personal conversations, they were ordered to continue transcribing the calls.
So this is how the Bush Administration treats the men it repeatedly refers to as "heroes." This presidency can't end fast enough to suit me. I can't wait to see the indictments that the Obama Administration will start handing down on January 21.