The NSA Responds To The Christiane Amanpour Issue

Ken AshfordWiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

Apparently, the controversy has forced the NSA to respond.  According to what the agency told CNN, nothing happened.

A senior U.S. intelligence official told CNN on Thursday that the National Security Agency did not target CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour or any other CNN journalist for surveillance.

The senior official said that from time to time NSA surveillance overseas "inadvertently" acquires recordings or copies of communications involving Americans — or what the government calls "U.S. persons," which includes most U.S. residents and employees of American companies. By law, however, such materials are required to be erased or destroyed immediately, the official said.

Okay.  So there it is.  If Amanpour communications were inadvertently picked up, the administration was required "by law" to destroy the information.

Of course, we given this administration’s views of the "law" and the occasions on which it is circumvented, I hardly find this reassuring.  Remember, Bush once assured a crowd that ALL wiretaps were obtained by warrants.  And he clearly was lying.