NSA surveillance program architect Bill Binney told Sean Hannity Monday that the intelligence community routinely listens in on Americans’ conversations without court-ordered FISA warrants.
President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama on Twitter Saturday of wiretapping Trump Tower during the election.
“Under executive order one two triple three, they do surveillance of everybody in the United States without warrants and that’s done through various upstream programs Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney and also in cooperation with other countries in terms of collection worldwide,” Binney said on Hannity’s radio show.
“So it’s all done without warrants and that was testified to by Adrian Kinney and David Murfee Faulk, who were transcribing at Fort Gordon George. They were transcribing conversations between U.S. citizens with no warrant at all.”
ABC News reported in in early October 2009, Murfee Faulk, a Navy Arab linguist, said he and other NSA intercept operators in Baghdad’s Green Zone from late 2003 to November 2007 listened to hundreds of Americans’ private phone conversations.
“Calling home to the United States, talking to their spouses, sometimes their girlfriends, sometimes one phone call following another,” said Faulk.
“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy.'”
Binney, who resigned from the NSA in 2001 and became a whistleblower, told Hannity, “I will put it this way. The IC is becoming more like the Praetorian Guard. You know, where they’re trying to determine who the emperor is and also influence what the emperor does, so I just think that this is getting out of hand.”
He added, “And I think, you know, President Trump is absolutely right. The intelligence community needs to be revamped.”
“Are you say that every American can be wiretapped against their will without any warning at any point?” Hannity asked.
“No. I’m saying they are,” Binney replied.
Hannity later asked, “And by wiretapping, that means what? Recording my phone conversations, taking my emails, my texts?”
Binney responded, “That’s correct, and also storing it for mining,” noting that the storage was also under the executive order 12333 section 2 -2.3C. The executive order, Binney explained, is the one President Obama “opened it up to all the other agencies in the intelligence community. Originally it was just restricted. The only ones that had access were NSA CIA and FBI.”
“So was Donald Trump being surveilled even without the FISA court?” Hannity asked.
“That’s correct. And actually … he’s being targeted now. They’re going into the database looking for data on him,” said Binney.
A spokesman for Obama said neither the former president nor any White House official ordered any surveillance on Trump when he was still in the White House. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday that he was not aware of a FISA court order to monitor Trump Tower.
“Not to my knowledge,” Clapper said. “I can’t speak for other authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.”