Monday 12 August 2013 14.52 BST
In 2006, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize for having revealed that the NSA
was eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. The reason that was a scandal was because it was illegal under a 30-year-old law that made it a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison for each offense, to eavesdrop on Americans without those warrants.
Obama DOJ refused to prosecute the responsible officials, all three federal judges to rule on the substance found that domestic spying to be unconstitutional and in violation of the statute.
The person who secretly implemented that illegal domestic spying program was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, then Bush’s NSA director. That’s the very same Michael Hayden who is now frequently presented by US television outlets as the authority and expert on the current NSA controversy – all without ever mentioning the central role he played in overseeing that illegal warrantless eavesdropping program.
But worse than the omission of Hayden’s NSA history is his current – and almost always unmentioned – financial stake in the very policies he is being invited to defend. Hayden is a partner in the Chertoff Group, a private entity that makes more and more money by increasing the fear levels of the US public and engineering massive government security contracts for their clients.
Founded by former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, it’s filled with former national security state officials who exploit their connections in and knowledge of Washington to secure hugely profitable government contracts for their clients. As the Huffington Post’s Marcus Baram reported:
The article further detailed how much of a huge financial stake the Chertoff Group has in scaring the nation about cyber threats and obtaining large NSA contracts relating to cyber-warfare. Hayden’s bio at the Chertoff Group says that his focus includes “technological intelligence and counterintelligence (communications and data networks)” and “brief[ing] clients on intelligence matters worldwide – including developments in cyber security – that may affect their businesses.”