On Friday, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin interviewed former U.S. Air Force intelligence Agent Russell Tice about the revelations surrounding the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ digital and electronic communications. Tice accused a variety of administration officials, including President Barack Obama, of disseminating outright falsehoods in their efforts to explain those programs. He added that those programs are far broader than any government official has said up to this point.
Tice slammed the president’s meeting with privacy advocates today, conceding the point that this was largely a “PR move.”
“There is a lot of disinformation going on,” Tice observed. “I’ve always said the station is much worse.”
Tice accused the NSA’s past and current directors of misleading the public regarding the scope of the agency’s communications monitoring programs.
“NSA, today, is collecting everything – including content – of every digital communication in this country, both computer and phone, and that information is being stored indefinitely,” Tice said. “And that’s something that they’re lying about.”
Melvin noted that The Guardian reported Thursday that domestic communications can be kept if they were obtained “inadvertently, and they can be used by courts under certain circumstances. He noted that this news also contradicts statements by the president.
“You’ve got to understand, the FISA court is being used as a screen to be able to use information that ultimately they can use to throw at somebody in a court of law with a grand jury,” Tice said, noting that this happened to him and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, Jim Risen.
He says that the FISA court appeal justifies the government collecting information on Americans that can later be used in criminal cases against them.
Watch the clip below: