Shot in the Foot, Russia Today’s Gaff on NSA Spying

The NSA is combatting some threats, but not others. Why not?

by Gordon Duff

Russia Today has shot itself in the foot twice in 24 hours.  The first huge blunder was in trying to resurrect Seymour Hersh as an “anti-American” icon in a carefully crafted but meaningless diatribe that, as it always does, spins on its ear and shoots down Iran and Russia.

Jim Dean will fill in on that one but suffice it to say, RT failed to really read the Hersh piece they are pushing which, in reality, exists only to foist wild anti-Iranian hoax conspiracies on those too stupid to know better.

This one is worse.  RT has chosen “Peter Hoekstra” of Muskegon, Michigan as their heroic defender of what is good and true.  The problem is, Hoekstra is the enemy, he hates Russia and only earlier today put out an attack piece on Obama, not for spying on congress but for ending sanctions on Iran.  Hoekstra believed threatening Iran with nuclear war was the path to go with, something Russia today should have been aware of.

Peter Hoekstra is and always has been a cheap political opportunist, a shill of special interest, and a simpleton hack.

Hoekstra, of course, was dead center in the corrupt Israel lobby and very much a part of those who would have been burned, were he still in office.  Instead, the ‘twitters’ or “tweets” as they are called that RT has included are nothing more than Hoekstra attacking Obama for doing what was right, what Russia supports and what was good for the people of Iran.

What we are saying is that RT has screwed up again and is on the wrong side of an issue just because it took the side available that attacked Obama, too stupid to note that they were attacking Obama for not being bad enough.

Press TV, as usual, followed RT over the cliff, with equal carelessness. I strongly suspect that RT and Press TV really don’t understand English or that key staffers need to be put on Ritalin.

Jim Dean and I have a standing offer on the table to Press TV and RT:  When you are running this kind of story, call us up and ask us if, just possibly, you might be putting your foot in your mouth.

NSA spied on Israel amid Iran talks, caught some US lawmakers’ private talks – report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington

[ Editor’s Note: This story is such a farce I hardly know where to start. But first the whole concept of “spying on Congress” is a journalistic fraud in my book. For decades phone communications between overseas parties and US citizens have been recorded as the NSA has jurisdiction when one party is foreign.
No major media platform editor is not aware of this long history. Two, Israeli political espionage on Capitol Hill has been at an epidemic level for many years. Not only are staffs infiltrated by AIPAC plants, but actual Congressmen are key sources for the Zios, going all the way up to a powerful committee chairman who has the top security clearances to get just about anything.

Our Intelligence community has had to endure the humiliation of watching such slim balls take requests from Israeli espionage “front door” assets and then order the reports they want. The material is not handed over in an underground parking lot a la “Deep Throat” days, but handed over right in the Congressman’s office, or in the Bush gang’s day, right in the Whitehouse over a cup of coffee.

These Congressmen cannot be prosecuted because the material was not obtained pursuant to a Court Order. They know this, and the Israelis know this. All the top media executives and senior reports know this, but they don’t think the American people should not this.

We think they are creeps, slim balls. They blackball us for a very good reason because they know that we know that they know…and are aiding and abetting by suppressing what is really going on as the Zios would go after them like banshees.

The whole lot of them are beneath contempt. And this news hustle to make the NSA and loyal Intel elements look bad for doing what they are supposed to do as best they can to at least be aware of who Israel’s top political spies are and what American traitors are helping them.

We have been harsh critics of both Obama and the Intel community on an issue-by-issue basis. Israel has been a devastating national security threat to the United States, and we support all efforts to stem the tide of their onslaught wherever possible.

We had long editorialized on the hoax of the Iran nuclear weapons threat as we had to die for sources that briefed us from A to Z on the whole matter. Despite Obama’s foreign policy disasters, Iran stands as one of the positive highlights, as does his canceling the air attack on Syrian within an hour to launch due to revelations that the Syrian sarin gas attack hoax was an Israeli-staged operation to trigger Obama’s red line.

One of Israel’s top foreign policies and Intel’s goals has always been to loot the US treasury and use the US military as canon fodder to serve their interests. We salute all those that worked to defeat the attempt to torpedo the years of international work end the Iran nuclear hoax.

My only regret is that there have been no charges of treason for the American participants that worked for the Israelis. And yes, Capitol Hill is not the only major institution penetrated by Israeli espionage, US corporate media is like Swiss Cheese, and the Wall Street Journal has long been on the suspect list… Jim W. Dean ]

First published   …  December 30,  2015

The NSA spied on Israel despite a US pledge to curtail the surveillance of ally states, revealing how the Israelis lobbied US lawmakers to reject the Iranian nuclear deal. The snooping also reportedly eavesdropped on some members of Congress’ private talks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the spying has been ongoing during President Barack Obama’s two terms and continued unabated even after Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations in 2013. Following the scandal, the Obama administration composed a so-called protected list, shielding close allies from surveillance, including countries such as Germany or France. However, despite close ties, Israel was not included and was, instead, made the NSA’s top surveillance priority, along with Turkey.

“Going dark on Bibi? Of course, we wouldn’t do that,” a senior US official told the Journal, using Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s nickname.

President Obama approved of spying on his Israeli counterpart because it served a “compelling national security purpose,” current and former US officials told the WSJ. The new report is based on more than two-dozen interviews with both intelligence and administration officials.

As a part of the surveillance, the NSA eavesdropped on communications between Israeli and US lawmakers amid efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. Specifically, the efforts of the Netanyahu government to turn legislators against the negotiations and convince them to block the emerging agreement were revealed, the article said.

It was also discovered that Netanyahu and his advisers leaked details they had learned of through Israeli intelligence concerning the US-Iran negotiations, and coordinated with Jewish-American groups to dissuade undecided lawmakers from voting to approve the deal.

The US managed to capture communications between Netanyahu and his aides, which led to mistrust between Washington and Tel Aviv and created a politically sticky situation when the Israeli leader spoke to Congress in an attempt to push through his anti-Iran message.

The White House believed that the intercepted information could be worthwhile in countering Netanyahu’s efforts. Yet, the WSJ reports, it was clear that asking for it directly would be “politically risky.” To avoid “a paper trail stemming out from a request,” the White House left it to the NSA to decide what information should be either shared or withheld.

However, this is when the NSA realized it was also sweeping up some conversations the Israelis were having with US lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.

“That raised fears—an ‘Oh-s— moment,’ one senior US official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress,” the WSJ writes.

According to the report, the NSA removed the lawmakers’ names from intelligence reports, along with personal information and “trash talk.” The White House did not ask the NSA to identify any of the lawmakers caught in the surveillance.

“From what I can tell, we haven’t had a problem with how incidental collection has been handled concerning lawmakers,” Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the WSJ.

When reached for comment, government officials representing Israel, Germany, and France declined to speak to the Journal, as did the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the NSA.


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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.