It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this amounts to a “nothing-to-see-here” assessment of what is happening.
Consider what William Binney and Mark Klein have said and written, and what NSA is building, and then tell me if you believe that only three dozen people have access to the domestic intercepts. Come on. Get real.
This RAGTIME compartment, that Ambinder and Grady are describing in Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, probably exists specifically as a limited hangout for oversight purposes, and as chum for journalists.
Yes friends, the whole thing has been, “Brought under law.” Well, that’s comforting.
Using Amazon’s Search Inside This Book feature, I typed in Binney. Zero results. Then I searched for Klein. Zero results. So, the two men mainly responsible for exposing what NSA is doing, with regard to massive, indiscriminate domestic intercepts, aren’t mentioned at all.
Ragtime, which appears in official reports by the abbreviation RT, consists of four parts.
Ragtime-A involves US-based interception of all foreign-to-foreign counterterrorism-related data;
Ragtime-B deals with data from foreign governments that transits through the US;
Ragtime-C deals with counterproliferation actvities;
and then there’s Ragtime-P, which will probably be of greatest interest to those who continue to demand more information from the NSA about what it does in the United States.
P stands for Patriot Act. Ragtime-P is the remnant of the original President’s Surveillance Program, the name given to so-called “warrantless wiretapping” activities after 9/11, in which one end of a phone call or an e-mail terminated inside the United States. That collection has since been brought under law, but civil liberties groups, journalists, and legal scholars continue to seek more information about what it entailed, who was targeted, and what authorities exist today for domestic intelligence-gathering.
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