The NSA's spying on Tucker Carlson is the tip of the iceberg

Well, everyone could see it coming.

It turns out that the National Security Agency (NSA) didn't just eavesdrop "incidentally" on the emails and text messages of Tucker Carlson, one of the few journalists in America willing to stand up to the Deep State.

Anyone with half a brain could see the lizard-like lawyering in the NSA's "non-denial denial."  As Bill Clinton famously put it, "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." 

"Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency," the NSA statement read, dodging the question of whether it had obtained and read his emails and texts, "and the NSA has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air."

Again, from what we know of lying government lawyers, the tenses are crucial: the NSA never "had" any plans.

That says nothing about whether it now has such plans.  "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

It appears that NSA officials did precisely what Carlson predicted: they leaked these private messages to compliant members of the controlled corporate media.

Appearing Wednesday on Fox's Mornings With Maria Bartiromo, Carlson reported that he was informed by a journalist that he respects that the NSA had indeed leaked his private emails to journalists in an effort to get his show canceled.  The friendly journalist confirmed for him what was in the emails.

We will know this for a fact in the next few days if the "hit piece" Carlson was told is in preparation appears — in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, or another media outlet directed by America's out-of-control intelligence oligarchy.

Bartiromo's reaction was right on the mark.

This goes beyond the usual Democrat Party dirty tricks — stuffing ballot boxes, mobbing politicians to intimidate them, burning down cities.

This is banana republic–level subversion, spying on journalists to silence all opposition.

This is the kind of stuff the old "Democratic People's Republics" in Eastern Europe pulled, spying on citizens — the Stasi had the entire country wired with eavesdropping devices — and then threatening to use the information against them.

If Republican members of Congress really cared about the country, they would immediately call for a Congressional investigation of the NSA and the entire corrupt intelligence community.

If they had even a little backbone, they would call for a Department of Justice criminal investigation — and threaten the NSA's lapdog director, Paul M. Nakasone, with criminal contempt if he fails to cooperate.

But we know they won't.  The country has seen why with its own eyes.

When former director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified, under oath, before Congress in 2013, he committed perjury on live national television.

Clapper was asked point-blank by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Clapper replied: "No, sir.  Not wittingly.  There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly."

We now know that this was 100% false — and that Clapper knowingly lied under oath.

It turns out the NSA illegally collects metadata on millions of Americans' telephone calls and has done so for years.

We also learned during the Boston Marathon bombing case that the NSA records virtually all cell phone calls in the United States — under a program codenamed Mystic, storing them in a vast government storage facility in Utah.

Edward Snowden later reported that it was this moment — seeing Clapper commit perjury on television — that convinced him that he had to come forward and reveal what he knew about what government intelligence agencies were really doing.

Make no mistake: the country is living through the greatest threat to its existence since the days of Joseph Stalin.

The U.S. government has been taken over by an authoritarian oligarchy that will do anything to stay in power.

It will illegally use the vast surveillance tools and powers of America's intelligence agencies to spy on, intimidate, and remove from power anyone viewed as a sufficient threat — up to and including the president himself.

As New York senator Chuck Schumer famously and accurately said, "Let me tell you, you take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

Tucker Carlson is small beer.

Robert J. Hutchinson writes about the intersection of history, politics, and ideas.  He is the author of What Really Happened: The Lincoln Assassination.

Image: Spying by Noelle Otto. Pexels.

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