The Bush Administration says it taps conversations of Americans only if they involved al Qaeda. But two ex-NSA interceptors say Bush's assertions are a lie, and they have come forward after feelings that their conduct was immoral and illegal. ABC News shared a look into the details of intercepted phone conversations between overseas Americans and their friends, colleagues, or family back home. Now, the Senate's Intelligence Committee has begun its own investigation.
Among the saddest anecdotes shared by the NSA workers is the confession that US officers intercepted American soldiers having phone sex, and then proceeded to alert those around them so they could listen in. The details would then be the topic of conversation during smoke breaks. A US intelligence officer told ABC that all US government employees should expect their conversations to be monitored. For more on how the calls of humanitarian workers were also allegedly tapped, read more.
Even when the system told NSA interceptors that callers were with organizations like the International Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, they continued to monitor the conversations. One NSA interceptor said by casting the intelligence net to include Americans and aid organizations, the NSA made it harder to find the piece of information that might actually improve national security. The NSA has responded to these allegations saying that the organization follows the law, and that illegalities are not sanctioned nor tolerated. Will you watch what you say next time you pick up the phone overseas?