“Senators Ron Wyden from Oregon and Martin Heinrich from New Mexico sent a message to top intel. officials asking for more information about the program to be made public. Large sections of the letter, which was mailed in April 2021 and declassified this Thursday, and documents published by the CIA were blacked out. Heinrich and Wyden said the program was “outside the framework that Congress believe govern this collection.”
The belief that the CIA has long had information said to be outside its prerogative as a data collector of foreign nations to guard American interests is nothing new. While most attention in this topic is focused on the NSA because of no small part to Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations, as the Post says, usually details on Americans becomes a part of this data mining, but the agencies are forced to protect U.S. citizens’ information, including removing the names of Americans from reports.
In the message, Heinrich and Wyden reiterate Congress’s plan to limit or prohibit “the warrantless collection of American citizens’ records, and the public’s interest in and support for these legal efforts.” Knowing this, the CIA “secretly had its own bulk program” and “has done so completely outside the statutory framework that governs this collection” and without any oversight.
And, Wyden and Heinrich are now demanding transparency and declassification.
Senators Heinrich and Wyden could be sincere in their desire for better transparency, but if they are smart they will refuse to play the public outrage game to divert from the NSA’s and CIA’s actual data accumulation (i.e., there is a reason this report came from the Washington Post). This is not some Alex Jones tinfoil stuff, but rather what has been happening since the Cold War.
We can only imagine what this data has been used for in the past, but we are positive in the future, as America sinks into more tyranny, it could be used to target conservative activists.