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SHOCKING! (Ok, not really): NSA illegally spied on MLK, M. Ali, Senators & More! Flashback: NSA's USS Liberty files!

FOIA Request Filed for National Security Agency Watch List that Included “Threats” MLK, Muhammad Ali, and Senator Church

September 25, 2013
by Nate Jones


Among the many revelations included in the recently declassified version of the National Security Agency’s classified internal history American Cryptology during the Cold War, is the official confirmation that by 1973, the NSA had a watch list of over 1,600 Americans, whose communications the Agency monitored. ”The project, which became known officially as MINARET in 1969,employed unusual procedures. NSA distributed reports without the usual serialization. They were designed to look like HUMINT reports rather than SIGINT, and readers could find no originating agency.” It almost seems like the NSA knew it was doing something wrong and tried to cover it’s tracks.

NSA's MINARET: before vs. after DeClassification

BEFORE: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB441/docs/minaret%...

AFTER: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB441/docs/minaret%...

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RELATED:

Rand Paul joins Sen. Mark Udall & Ron Wyden's NSA 'Reform' Bill (Must be ABOLISHED, Not 'Reformed' but It's a Step...)

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Project MINARET

Project MINARET was a sister project to Project SHAMROCK operated by the National Security Agency (NSA), which, after intercepting electronic communications that contained the names of predesignated US citizens, passed them to other government law enforcement and intelligence organizations.[1] Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the Department of Defense.

The names were on "watch lists" of American citizens, generated by Executive Branch law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to detect communications involving the listed individuals. There was no judicial oversight, and the project had no warrants for interception.

The 1972 Keith decision by the U.S. Supreme Court became a controversial issue mainly because, even though the court had confirmed that the government had the authority to protect the nation from subversive activity and anarchy, it did not outlaw the government's ability to use electronic surveillance for domestic espionage purposes. This controversy became a major case against Project MINARET.

Operating between 1967 and 1973, over 5,925 foreigners and 1,690 organizations and US citizens were included on the Project MINARET watch lists. NSA Director, Lew Allen, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975 that the NSA had issued over 3,900 reports on the watch-listed Americans.

Project SHAMROCK

Project SHAMROCK, considered to be the sister project for Project MINARET, was an espionage exercise, started in August 1945[1] that involved the accumulation of all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from the United States. The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA)[2] and its successor NSA were given direct access to daily microfilm copies of all incoming, outgoing, and transiting telegrams via the Western Union and its associates RCA and ITT. NSA did the operational interception, and, if information that would be of interest to other intelligence agencies was found, the material was passed to them.[3] "Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the Department of Defense." No court authorized the operation and there were no warrants.

At the height of Project SHAMROCK, 150,000 messages a month were printed and analyzed by NSA personnel. In May 1975 however, Congressional critics began to investigate and expose the program. As a result, NSA director Lew Allen terminated it, on his own authority rather than that of other intelligence agencies.

The testimony of both the representatives from the cable companies and of director Allen at the hearings prompted Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Frank Church to conclude that Project SHAMROCK was "probably the largest government interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken."[citation needed]

One result of these investigations was the 1978 creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which limited the powers of the NSA and put in place a process of warrants and judicial review. Another internal safeguard, was U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18, an internal NSA and intelligence community set of procedures, originally issued in 1980[4] and updated in 1993.[5]

USSID 18 was the general guideline for handling signal intelligence SIGINT inadvertently collected on US citizens, without a warrant, prior to the George W. Bush Administration. Interpretations of FISA and the principles of USSID 18, by the Bush administration assume the Executive Branch has unitary authority for warrantless surveillance, which is under Congressional investigation as an apparent violation of the intent of FISA.

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+ Hey y'all, for those who may not be aware, if you really want the real deal, on any and all public declassified national security related documents? Please visit, and SCOUR through THE digital Library of Alexandria at George Washington University's National Security Archives.

Main Site: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/index.html
Alt. URL: www.nsarchive.org
Blog: https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/

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"Disreputable if Not Outright Illegal": The National Security Agency versus Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Art Buchwald, Frank Church, et al.
Newly Declassified History Divulges Names of Prominent Americans Targeted by NSA during Vietnam Era
Declassification Decision by Interagency Panel Releases New Information on the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Panama Canal Negotiations

GWU Nat.Sec.Acrh.Blog - Sep. 25, 2013: Secret Cold War Documents Reveal NSA Spied on Senators …along with journalists, civil rights leaders, Muhammad Ali and a Washington Post humor columnist.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 441

Posted – September 25, 2013
Originally Posted - November 14, 2008
Edited by Matthew M. Aid and William Burr

For more information contact:
William Burr 202/994 7000 or nsarchiv@gwu.edu
Matthew M. Aid mmaid@rcn.com

Washington, D.C., September 25, 2013 – During the height of the Vietnam War protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of selected prominent Americans, most of whom were critics of the war, according to a recently declassified NSA history. For years those names on the NSA's watch list were secret, but thanks to the decision of an interagency panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive, the NSA has released them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping. Civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King and Whitney Young were on the watch list, as were the boxer Muhammad Ali, New York Times journalist Tom Wicker, and veteran Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald. Also startling is that the NSA was tasked with monitoring the overseas telephone calls and cable traffic of two prominent members of Congress, Senators Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Howard Baker (R-Tennessee).

The NSA history, American Cryptology during the Cold War, is a multi-volume study that covers the intersection of secret communications intelligence with Cold War history. The National Security Archive filed the initial mandatory declassification review request for the histories in 2006. The next year, when the NSA denied significant information from the histories the Archive filed an appeal. The Agency declassified more information in 2008 and the Archive posted the first three volumes on its Web site in 2008, with commentary by Matthew Aid. The NSA had denied so much, however, that the Archive filed a final appeal with the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) that same year. Book I remains under appeal. Five years after the Archive's appeal, the ISCAP has compelled the NSA to release more information from Books II and III.

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WaPo: Declassified documents show NSA listened in on MLK, Muhammad Ali and Art Buchwald

By Richard Leiby
September 25, 2013

Amid raging anti-Vietnam War protests that bedeviled two presidential administrations, snoops at the National Security Agency tapped the overseas communications of war critics including Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho), and even Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald, according to newly declassified NSA documents released Wednesday.

WaPo's FP: Secret Cold War Documents Reveal NSA Spied on Senators
...along with Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and a Washington Post humorist.

Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho)

BY MATTHEW M. AID, WILLIAM BURR | SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

As Vietnam War protests grew, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) tapped the overseas communications of prominent American critics of the war -- including a pair of sitting U.S. senators. That's according to a recently declassified NSA history, which called the effort "disreputable if not outright illegal."

For years the names of the surveillance targets were kept secret. But after a decision by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, in response to an appeal by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, the NSA has declassified them for the first time. The names of the NSA's targets are eye-popping. Civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Whitney Young were on the watch list, as were the boxer Muhammad Ali, New York Times journalist Tom Wicker, and veteran Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald. But perhaps the most startling fact in the declassified document is that the NSA was tasked with monitoring the overseas telephone calls and cable traffic of two prominent members of Congress, Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.). As shocking as the recent revelations about the NSA's domestic eavesdropping have been, there has been no evidence so far of today's signal intelligence corps taking a step like this, to monitor the White House's political enemies.

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NSA spied on Martin Luther King

AFP
Sept. 26, 2013

Washington (AFP) - The National Security Agency eavesdropped on civil rights icon Martin Luther King and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali as well as other leading critics of the Vietnam War in a secret program later deemed "disreputable," declassified documents revealed.

The six-year spying program, dubbed "Minaret," had been exposed in the 1970s but the targets of the surveillance had been kept secret until now.

The documents released Wednesday showed the NSA tracked King and his colleague Whitney Young, boxing star Ali, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and two members of Congress, Senator Frank Church of Idaho and Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee.

Evidence NSA ‘illegally’ monitored anti-Vietnam dissidents, including journalists and two senators

Published time: September 26, 2013 02:05

Decades before Edward Snowden’s leaks the National Security Agency secretly monitored the communication of prominent Americans who were opposed to the Vietnam War, including at least two sitting US senators.

The six-year spying program known as Minaret, which lasted from 1967 to 1973, was disclosed in the 1970s but the identity of those who the government kept tabs on has been under wraps until now. A recently declassified history of the NSA quoted by Foreign Policy magazine deemed the surveillance “disreputable if not outright illegal.”

The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, which helps determine which government documents should be declassified, agreed with an appeal from George Washington University’s National Security Archive that the information should be made public.

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FLASHBACK: NSA's Cold War SIGNIT Archives Declassified!
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The growing NSA presence greatly increased the vulnerability of its operators to physical harm. In June 1967, Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the NSA spy ship USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmembers, including 25 military and civilian cryptologists. Dr. Johnson concludes that based on the available SIGINT that the Israelis did not know that the ship they were attacking was a U.S. Navy ship. In January 1968, the North Koreans seized the U.S. Navy spy ship USS Pueblo, which Johnson correctly describes as an intelligence disaster of unparalleled proportions. Then in January 1969, a North Korean MiG-21 fighter shot down a U.S. Navy EC-121 SIGINT aircraft, killing all 31 crewmembers, including nine military cryptologists.


The USS Oxford on its maiden voyage, circa August 1961. The Navy wanted to see if this ship was seaworthy, so it's not carrying NSA officers on board. Used in patrols of the Caribbean and Latin America, the Oxford was in Cuban waters during the Cuban Missile Crisis. (photo from collection of Matthew Aid)

National Security Agency Releases History of Cold War Intelligence Activities
Soviet Strategic Forces Went on Alert Three Times during September-October 1962 Because of Apprehension over Cuban Situation, Top Secret Codeword History of National Security Agency Shows

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 260

Posted - November 14, 2008
For more information contact: Matthew Aid (202) 994-7000

Washington DC, November 14, 2008 - Forty-six years ago, a month before the Cuban Missile crisis, Soviet leaders put their strategic forces on their “highest readiness stage since the beginning of the Cold War,” according to a newly declassified internal history of the National Security Agency published today for the first time by the National Security Archive. Possibly responding to President Kennedy’s call for reserves, perhaps worried that the White House had discovered Moscow’s plans to deploy missiles on Cuba, the Kremlin kept forces on alert for 10 days, beginning on September 11, 1962.

The NSA’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) history also discloses that, a month later, on October 15th, the Soviets initiated a “precautionary, preliminary” alert, perhaps because Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev feared that U.S. intelligence had discovered the missiles. After President Kennedy’s speech on October 22nd 1962, announcing the “quarantine” (blockade) of Cuba, the Kremlin put military forces, especially air defense forces, on an “extraordinarily high state of alert.” Significantly, “offensive forces avoided assuming the highest readiness stage, as if to insure that Kennedy understood that the USSR would not launch first.”

In response to a declassification request by the National Security Archive, the secretive National Security Agency has declassified large portions of a four-part “top-secret Umbra” study, American Cryptology during the Cold War. Despite major redactions, this history discloses much new information about the agency’s history and the role of SIGINT and communications intelligence (COMINT) during the Cold War. Researched and written by NSA historian Thomas Johnson, the three parts released so far provide a frank assessment of the history of the Agency and its forerunners, warts-and-all.

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Read the Documents: .PDF

Document 1: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book I: The Struggle for Centralization, 1945-1960 (National Security Agency: Center for Cryptological History, 1995), Top Secret Umbra, Excised copy, pp. i-xvii and 1-155

Document 2: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book I: The Struggle for Centralization, 1945-1960, pp. 157-287

Document 3: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book II: Centralization Wins, 1960-1972 (National Security Agency: Center for Cryptological History, 1995), Top Secret Umbra, Excised copy, pp. 289-494

Document 4: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book II: Centralization Wins, 1960-1972, pp. 495-652

Document 5: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book III: Retrenchment and Reform, 1972-1980 (National Security Agency: Center for Cryptological History, 1998), Top Secret Umbra, Excised copy, pp. i-ix, and 1-116

Document 6: Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989: Book III: Retrenchment and Reform, 1972-1980, pp. 117-262

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Another quality AnCapMerc post ... thanks for posting!

Nice work, as usual, AnCapMerc. Bookmarked for further reading this weekend.

aw, shucks

thanks.D

treasure trove of info at GWU Nat.Sec.Arch. a GREAT site.

but, like Mises.org, I actually avoid visiting 'em, because I'd literally never leave. LOL.

suppose there is such a thing as 'too much indulgence' .o)

Predictions in due Time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Thank you AnCapMercenary

for the history lesson. This has been a problem for a long time.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Quite

welcome!

Yup, it's like we're literally living two separate historical timelines, concurrently: those of us in this country (and the world) who're at least curious enough to WANT to know just what the heck is going on in this world, vs. those...the sheeple zombies who literally delude that 'history' is as they're simply told to believe and/or regurgitate.

Simply knowing just WTF is really going on in the world, would resolve about 80% of all world's problems, should humans learn to act accordingly based on that info, IMHO. Well... okay, so knowing our species, perhaps even at my most optimistic: 60%-ish? work w/me here! LOL .D

Predictions in due Time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Thanks Ed!!!!

Like the good Doctor Ronald Ernest Paul, you changed the world, FOREVER, my friend!

a Shout-out from one r3VOL, to another .D

Predictions in due Time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul