As I'm sure you know, former NSA analyst Russell Tice revealed that the agency spied on journalists and ordinary Americans -- not just communications between the U.S. and overseas. Speaking on the Keith Olbermann show on MSNBC, Tice said:
"The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications," he said. "Faxes, phone calls and their computer communications. ... They monitored all communications."
He made a further appearance on Olbermann Thursday (view above), in which he said that the NSA combined these illegal wiretaps with credit card and financial data.
""This [information] could sit there for ten years and then potentially it marries up with something else and ten years from now they get put on a no-fly list and they, of course, won't have a clue why," Tice said.
"This is garnered from algorithms that have been put together to try to just dream-up scenarios that might be information that is associated with how a terrorist could operate," Tice said. "And once that information gets to the NSA, and they start to put it through the filters there . . . and they start looking for word-recognition, if someone just talked about the daily news and mentioned something about the Middle East they could easily be brought to the forefront of having that little flag put by their name that says 'potential terrorist'."
Why were they monitoring reporters? New York Times reporter James Risen told Olbermann he thought it was a plot "to have a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers in the government to make them realize that there's a Big Brother out there that will get them if they step out of line."