5 May 2005

NSA intercepts for Bolton masked as 'training missions'

Another troublesome detail about Mr. John Bolton, who is the nominee for ambassador to the United Nations.
It was revealed by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) during Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.

In the case of Bolton and other Bush administration hardliners, the material in question was not deleted and was transmitted in raw intercept form to external agencies for clearly political purposes—a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and USSID 18, which only allows such raw training mission intercepts to be transmitted when evidence of criminal activity is uncovered during the training mission.

And why is an abusive boss with "no diplomatic bone in his body" being considered for a important diplomatic post?


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