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In-Depth Interview: Tom Drake and Rocky Anderson Reveal Dragnet Surveillance at Salt Lake Olympics

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Former NSA executive Thomas Drake and former presidential candidate and Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson reveal NSA’s unconstitutional total surveillance during 2002 Olympic Winter Games.Drake blew the whistle on wrongdoing he witnessed at NSA, “going through channels”; in retaliation, he was indicted under the Espionage Act, and took a plea deal to avoid prison and financial ruin.  He filed a sworn declaration in this case, which can be accessed via a link in this news article.

Anderson was the mayor of Salt Lake City during the Olympics, and was the Justice Party candidate for president in 2012.  Both Drake and Anderson have been interviewed here before, and those podcasts can be found using our search window.  For updates and other info on this lawsuit, click here.

Anderson states that he was a part of many meetings in preparation for the Olympics, including security meetings with Mitt Romney, who was brought in to rescue the organizing, and there was never any mention of electronic surveillance or NSA monitoring of communications.

In his declaration and comments here, Drake describes the drastic changes at NSA after 9/11, and the cavalier dismissal of his concerns about the legality of domestic spying by his agency.  He has previously talked about his opposition to the “Stellar Wind” program, the surveillance system that got a major field trial in Salt Lake City.  He explains how it swept up virtually all electronic signals in and out of the “geofenced” area in Utah.  Drake stated, under oath, that former NSA director Mike Hayden’s carefully crafted denials are “false, or if not literally false, substantially misleading”.

Anderson renewed his law license to bring this suit, and has operated solo to date; if you know a good constitutional lawyer, tell him/her about this case.  He explains his perspective as mayor at the time, and how a Wall Street Journal report triggered his decision to bring suit.  He adds new information about the role of regional phone carrier Qwest, and how it was apparently coerced into NSA collaboration in 2002.  Anderson describes a meeting at Ft. Meade where Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio was browbeaten by unnamed, murky spymasters.  After he refused to cooperate the way A T & T did, he went to prison on a dubious charge of insider trading.

There’s a lot more in this conversation with two stalwart defenders of the Fourth Amendment.  Please share it widely.