Friday, October 25, 2013

PBS Frontline report provides context for the current NSA scandal

I figured everyone else was publishing information about NSA spying, so I had nothing to add, but I came across a PBS Frontline report "Top Secret America – 9/11 to the Boston Bombings," which provides context for the action of Edward Snowden. It aired on April 30, 2013.PBS describes the report as follows: "In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Frontline investigates the vast maze of clandestine government efforts created after 9/11 for the purpose of hunting terrorists and preventing future attacks."

Here are a couple of quotes from the transcript:
NARRATOR: Ten years after September 11th--Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Priest investigates the creation of Top Secret America.

RICHARD IMMERMAN, Asst. Dpty. Director, DNI, 2007-08: What happens after 9/11 is this tremendous ramping up.

DANA PRIEST, The Washington Post: The money just came out of Congress- it was flying out.

ALLISON STANGER, Rohatyn Center for International Affairs: It’s shrouded in secrecy.

GARY SCHROEN, CIA, 1970-02: We weren’t going to play by the old set of rules.

...

NARRATOR: But finding the exact needle would take manpower, lots of it, and in a hurry. The NSA turned to a new force in the covert war, private contractors. (LP: one of which, Booz Allen Hamilton, employed Edward Snowden).

DANA PRIEST: You had this boom in the corporate intelligence world, as well, companies like CACI, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics. Just all the old-fashioned industrial, “We’re building ships and submarines”-type corporations quickly moved into the intelligence and information space.

NARRATOR: The NSA spent billions of dollars on more than 480 private companies. Gen. Michael Hayden led the effort in the days right after 9/11.