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Release of New Documents Complicates Understanding of NSA Actions Post 9/11

Several articles available today expand upon the discussion about, and information related to, the escalating controversy generated by revelations of a post 9/11 domestic surveillance program. Listed below are the articles and links which collectively shed new light on the issue, result in further questions yet unanswered, and offer additional commentary and perspective on potential ramifications for individuals, journalists, and citizens overall:

  • New York Times: “The National Security Agency acted on its own authority, without a formal directive from President Bush, to expand its domestic surveillance operations in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to declassified documents released Tuesday.”
  • Time: The Book Behind the Bombshell – “At the center of the article’s backstory is Risen, who unsuccessfully pushed to publish the wiretap report last year, then took a leave to write a book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. It now appears he may pay a price for the disclosure: last Friday the Justice Department opened an investigation into who leaked the existence of the NSA program to the Times, raising the prospect of Risen’s being compelled to reveal the identities of the “nearly dozen” current and former officials who spoke to him about the program or face jail time for contempt of court.” [related references: see Executive Order 12333--United States intelligence activities], and Pelosi’s Declassified Letter on NSA Activities
  • Time: Presidential Snooping Damages the Nation
  • Steven Aftergood, quoted in AP article: “It does seem that the NSA is doing something different and in a different way than what it has done before.”
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