Accuracy in Media

National Security Agency (NSA) veterans Bill Binney, Russ Tice and Kirk Wiebe spoke at a Friday news conference at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C., with Tice declaring that the spy agency monitored Barack Obama’s telephone conversations—and those of his wife—in 2004, apparently as a result of Obama’s run for the U.S. Senate and emergence as a major figure in the Democratic Party. This should have been big news. However, the claim was ignored or dismissed by most of the major media.

A major exception was NBC News, which posted a clip from the press conference and an item noting that “Former NSA analyst Russ Tice says that, during his tenure, the NSA had a program that spied on phone and email messages of Congress, the Supreme Court, reporters, military and an up-and-coming politician named Barack Obama.” These are sensational charges.

Jeff Mason of Reuters interviewed Tice about Obama’s proposed “reforms” of the agency, but didn’t include any comments on the agency’s alleged surveillance of Obama.

Why would the NSA watch Obama? Could it have something to do with his communist and foreign connections?

Tice, who says he supported Obama for president even though he had been a conservative Republican, told Russia Today (RT) television that “…a high-level person at NSA told me this was being directed from the vice president’s office. That would be Vice-President Dick Cheney. I don’t know that for sure, but that’s what I was told from a very senior person at NSA.” Tice also told the Moscow-funded propaganda channel that Obama may somehow be “controlled” as President as a result of its surveillance of him.

Tice cannot be dismissed completely as a nut by the Left, since he was one of the sources used in The New York Times’ reporting in December 2005 on domestic surveillance activity. The media have treated him as credible in the past. His affiliations reportedly include his roles as a former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force, Office of Naval Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Jesselyn Radack, an associate of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, has defended Tice as a “whistleblower,” and Tice is featured on the site of the National Whistleblowers Center.

Tice said at the January 17 National Press Club news conference that he had “in my hand,” during his work for the NSA, the telephone numbers for Barack Obama and his wife, but that the documents were destroyed. “I had numerous phone numbers. I assume his wife’s number was there as well,” he said. “I don’t know what they did with it. I know that they were recording his phone conversations, and then they were storing the information.”

asked him about the possible grounds for NSA surveillance of Obama, such as his association in Hawaii with Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, who was on the FBI’s security index. Tice seemed unfamiliar with Davis. I also asked about Obama’s association with communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who helped launch Obama’s political career in Chicago. That meeting was set up by Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer, who had traveled to the Soviet Union and came back praising Soviet-style communism.

Tice ridiculed the idea that there were any legitimate grounds on which to monitor or investigate Obama. At the same time, he said the agency may have been seeking something they could “use against him in the future.” He wasn’t clear as to whether or not he meant they were seeking something specific. Is there something Obama is hiding?

If the interest was communism, Tice said, then why were so many other people, including admirals, members of congress, and Supreme Court justices, under surveillance? Of course, we have to take his word that all of these people were under surveillance, because he said the documentation for all of this was destroyed when he worked for the NSA.

The answer may lie in Obama’s NSA reform speech, in which the President admitted that foreign intelligence agencies may be trying to monitor his conversations. He said, “There is a reason why BlackBerrys and iPhones are not allowed in the White House Situation Room. We know that the intelligence services of other countries—including some who feign surprise over the Snowden disclosures—are constantly probing our government and private sector networks, and accelerating programs to listen to our conversations, and intercept our emails, and compromise our systems. We know that.”

So is it possible that the NSA is conducting some monitoring for the purpose of determining which foreign intelligence agencies have themselves conducted surveillance of U.S. citizens, in order to compromise or recruit them? That would make complete sense.

Tice, an analyst, may not have been in a high enough position to know or understand this. His speculation about then-Vice President Cheney ordering the surveillance is just that—speculation. And it may stem from his announced preference for Obama as president. But the guidelines under which the NSA operates, stipulate that investigating an American political figure for connections to foreign terrorists and regimes is permitted and justified. Similarly, the NSA would be derelict if it did not attempt to follow what foreign regimes and movements are trying to do here as well.

While Frank Marshall Davis was under surveillance for 19 years, he may have engaged in espionage for the Soviet Union. Obama covered up Davis’s real identity when he ran for president. Although Obama publicly claimed that he regarded Ayers and Dohrn as just neighbors and respected academics, declassified intelligence in the Weather Underground case shows that Ayers, Dohrn and their comrades had connections to the Soviet KGB, the Cuban intelligence service and the DGI, in addition to their terrorist ties.

We addressed the matter of domestic surveillance in a column on Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), asking the same kinds of questions about NSA activities. Sanders seemed shocked that anything like this was being done. The fact is that Sanders’ extensive affiliations with Soviet front groups were more than enough to justify NSA surveillance of this senator. Other senators may have been monitored because of a massive communist spy effort on Capitol Hill.

Tice ridicules the idea of the NSA monitoring “commies” on Capitol Hill. But that should be one of the legitimate functions of the NSA. After all, the NSA’s Venona project deciphered Soviet communications with agents in the U.S., including the federal government. This effort disclosed traitors and spies. However, only Obama could order the declassification of any documents in the possession of the U.S. intelligence community about his own foreign and communist connections.

We are not holding our breath.

We also don’t expect the Institute for Public Accuracy, which sponsored the news conference, to do a follow-up on this mystery. The group is funded by left-wing foundations associated with such figures as Barbra Streisand. She endorsed Obama for president in 2012, calling him a “good man” and praising Obamacare.

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  • Joe Westphal

    Psss! Obama owns the NSA, he doesn’t fear them.

  • stevor

    I suspect the NSA folks OWN o’bama, first having the evidence he’s illegally occupying the white house and also have evidence of all the killings done directed by him (such as the two gay guys who “mysteriously died” from his old church)

  • stringman

    Give me a break! There are so many card carrying members of the CPUSA working for the government now that you can’t walk three feet in DC without bumping into one. Congressional black caucus, just for example and with great fanfare, made several trips to Cuba to worship at the feet of Fidel. Millions of Americans actually believe the Michael Moore nonsense about Cuba having better healthcare than the US. But what can you expect from voters too stupid to vote against the Marxism candidate. He has so many LEFTISTS in his cabinet they should change the name of the Whitehouse to The Politburo.

    The words of Kruschev have finally come true, “We will bury you so slowly that you won’t even know you are dead.”. And, “The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them.”

    Congratulations America! The leftists are killing the goose that lays golden eggs and you voted for it. Isn’t that JUST SPECIAL!

  • Tbear

    You nailed it!!!!

  • stringman

    Thanks, Tbear. I get a little hot watching the long slide from a nation dedicated to freedom and prosperity to one of despotism and bondage. I’m absolutely sick seeing trillions of tax dollars used to beat us into politically correct submission to the overlords in DC.

    God save us from this Obamadamnation!

    The founders are all crapping themselves!

  • cheeflo

    I will never be convinced that this Tice guy was ever a “conservative Republican” who supported Obama. It just does not compute.

  • adieB

    I’d be more interested in what the NSA knows about Barry Soetoro.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    I’m confused ! The FOIA AND PA ACT REQUESTS that I sent to NSA were always responded with a denial of the NSA maintaining any records on any American citizen. So if they don’t maintain records on our citizens and their currently looking to transfer these records to another agency which doesn’t want them , then how can you ever get them ? I’m certainly concerned that our system is not working ! Now they have naked pictures of Obama ? The audacity !!! lol !

  • stringman

    Amen on that! Why would a conservative even think of supporting Obama? McCain and Romney are certainly no conservatives but I’m pretty sure they’re no radical leftists either. Heck, I’m not even sure Hillary is as far left as Obama! (Humor!)

  • salvagesalvage

    > Why would the NSA watch Obama? Could it have something to do with his communist and foreign connections?

    Of course!

    They know that Obama was born in Kenya, was indoctrinated into Islam, is gay, bought both elections and is going to destroy America with his communistic fascism for his Muslims masters who really are atheists.


  • ItsJo

    Excellent post, as we have to sit by idly and watch the Marxist Obama and his crooked regime, destroy “arrogant(his words) America, and a equally Crooked, Wimpy Congress give him the ok as they ALL seem to want to join the Elitist Crowd who control the Sheeple, INSTEAD of working for American Citizens as they are Supposed to be.”

  • ItsJo


  • ItsJo

    So having the goods on Obama, means they just sit by idly and watch our Republic go down the tubes and DO NOTHING? Just WHO is out there, to protect Americans and our Republic? Are they ALL phucking Communists/Marxists hell bent on Destroying America?

  • stringman

    Roads, military, law enforcement and some utilities. (And only those because we wouldn’t want anyone else in charge them.) Anything else government touches turns into corruption stew. Name one other thing the government hasn’t completely screwed up.

  • The Major

    adieB,,,I saw a short video on line of BHO being asked “under oath” by a member of the Bar Examiner of Illinois if BHO had EVER been known by any OTHER name ,,other than BHO & he said “NO”,,,,Perjury,,Y/N?,
    His Indonesian passport clearly states ,,your POTUS & mine (haha) ,,that his OTHER name IS Barry Soetero.,,,a clear Felony
    I believe if he looked like his Mother & was a Republican,,,what then?
    I believe he would have been investigated up to ^^^^,,,,right ?,,& RINO McCain would be POTUS

  • American Kulak

    Ah Cliff Kincaid, still trolling and desperately seeking to rationalize whatever NSA does to keep the rubes on the Dead Elephant Party, Surveillance State worshipping plantation. Kinda like Jesse Jackson telling blacks that conservatives like Kincaid hate them so they’d better vote Democrat.

    What’s next Cliff, NSA harassed Larry Klayman and his gold star family clients the Stranges because he/they had connections to the Commies too? Or was Doug Hagmann working for Red China or Putin when he exposed Obama, Brennan and the CIA’s gun running to those Muslim Brothers in Egypt and Syria you pretend to be so worried about?

    Why is claiming that Obama was BOTH a CIA and Red Diaper baby so outrageous to Cliff? Is it because it exposes the amateurishness of the U.S. intelligence community during the Cold War, that Frank Marshall Davis may’ve been recruited by the CIA as their man inside the CPUSA, or both? In Cliff’s world you’re either CIA or Commie, you could never be both (even as a traitor to this country, see Aldrich Ames).

  • American Kulak

    yeah except Ciff hearts him some NSA that might be used by this same Commie-Marxist POTUS to spy on domestic political enemies, including the tea party Cliff pretends to support.

  • American Kulak

    Maybe because Tice didn’t want to vote for that scumbag McInsane? I’d say he chose the lesser of the two evils.

  • American Kulak

    Doug Hagmann and Canada Free Press got the same response. Crickets from Trevor Ledoun, Cliff Kincaid and the like. Shows you just how concerned they are about even “rogue” elements inside NSA being turned into Obama’s personal Stasi — even via the plausible deniability of Booz Allen Hamilton contractors just like Snowden. Like every other NSA shill Kincaid has ZERO curiousity about how Snowden managed while workiing for Booz Allen Hamilton to evade NSA’s supposed ironclad internal audits that prevent employees from going ‘rogue’ and spying on anyone they please or stealing whatever documents they want — including employees that might actually BE working for Russia, China or other foreign powers.

    But Kincaid seems to think the only person who ever did or ever could be that guy is Snowden. He’s either too bought and paid for or too stupid to ask whether BAH was the conduit for this Marxist in the White House to turn NSA (even if 98% of NSA’s employees were unaware) into Obama’s personal Stasi. Why in the hell conservatives shouldn’t trust the IRS but should uncritically embrace and fanatically defend the DHS and NSA is beyond me. But that’s Kincaid and AIM for ya, bought and paid for by some giant corporations that contract with NSA.

  • American Kulak

    And despite this knowledge they’re doing…what exactly against Obama? That’s right nothing. If Kincaid were correct that NSA did indeed spy on Obama for good reason but never passed the info to anyone that he’s a Commie-Marxo-Muslim then their conduct is even more damnable.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Here’s an interesting article –
    Here is how the game is played. The British liaison officer at Fort Meade types the target list of “suspects” into the American computer. The NSA sorts through its wiretaps and gives the British officer the recording of any American citizen he wants.
    Since it is technically a British target of surveillance, no American search warrant is necessary. The British officer then simply hands the results over to his American liaison officer.