‘US government was subverting entire US constitution’ – NSA whistleblower
The Sam Adams Award for Integrity and Intelligence is to be given in Berlin this Thursday. This is an annual ceremony where intelligence professional are rewarded for their contribution in sharing light on governments’ wrongdoings. Such whistleblowers as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have got this award in the past. This year the prize goes to William Binney, retired NSA technical director. He left his high profile job in order to try to bring the NSA to account.
RT:How does it feel to get the Sam Adams Awards?
William Binney: It’s quite an honor to be recognized by such a group of individuals who basically at one time or another potentially sacrificed everything in their lives to try to bring truth to the public.
RT:Is that what you did - sacrificed everything in your life?
WB: I was in a position of doing it because they were attempting to prosecute me. They fabricated evidence to prosecute me. They wanted to put me in jail along with several others who were party to trying to bring the US back along the lines of obeying the constitutional laws that we had. We were trying to bring truth into Congress so that they would recognize what was going on and tried to correct what our government was doing. They were trying to put us in jail for up to 35 years.
RT:What did you expose? What was the problem that you didn’t like?
WB: We exposed the start of all the bulk acquisition of data on every citizen first in the US and then around the world. It was the violation initially of our constitution, the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments. And then eventually they started violating the 6th amendment with it not giving due process to people. So they were subverting our entire constitution. These were founding principles for our country. They were subverting that. And that started in October 2001, and that is when we started complaining internally in the government to try to make that recognized, and have them take action, actually do their job of defending the constitution, that is the role of office, and also to ensure that checks and balances occurred.
RT:You tried to deal with issues internally first. But you weren’t being listened to, were you?
WB: We were to the point that they realized that we became an irritant to them and that is when they sent the FBI at us and tried to indict us three separate times, falsely of course, they were fabricating evidence each time.
RT:What difference did it make to your life?
WB: It eliminated a lot of potential. I couldn’t get a job anywhere, nor could other of the whistleblowers. The government basically made it impossible for us to get a job. For example, if you got one they get that job cancelled or they get you fired. It terminated your work life basically.
RT:What about your outlook now looking forward?
WB: My new job is to make my government honest and make them face the truth publically. That is something they’ve been trying to hide all along. They’ve been hiding behind the veil of secrecy trying to do things in secret: torture, violations of the constitutional rights of everybody by spying on everybody, rendering people for torture and kidnapping. They have been doing all kinds of things that my country was never intended to stand for or do.
RT:Why do you think the government gets away with it? Do you think it’s the lack of public knowledge generally in America?
WB: I’m pretty sure that I as well as other whistleblowers have made a difference. At least people are becoming more and more aware in our country and certainly Congress is trying to do some things very slowly moving in the direction of correcting these things. But it’s hard to understand why people in the elected office who go in with an oath of office to defend and protect the constitution, how could they violate that? It’s just totally un-American to think that they would do that. But that is in fact what has happened. And I guess they mentally delude themselves into thinking that they have to this to protect everybody, when in fact they don’t. And they simply don’t know how to stop terrorism or anything else.
RT:Do you see concrete changes over the last 10 years because of what you did?
WB: I see initiatives starting up. For example, last year the Congress attempted to un-fund NSA and the House of Representatives got it on the floor and voted on it and they lost by 12 votes out of 435, that is not too bad at a first try. Now they are starting to try to figure internally ways and means of fixing it through legislation. And we’re trying to help that process along as best we can, anyway we can with any staff or representative of Congress or anyone in the Senate that wants to talk about it or know or get our opinions on it. In fact, in January of last year we sent the president 21 recommendations on how to fix NSA and we told them: “Here is what we would do to fix it; these are the ways you can make that happen and come back to honoring the constitutional laws of the country.”
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