Thanks to ThinkProgress.org for the heads up. A federal whistleblower, former NSA staffer Russell Tice, will testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee that NSA staffers believe that what they're doing is illegal. According to Think Progress, CongressDaily reports:
A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said Thursday he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens. …
[Tice] said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden. … “I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It’s pretty hard to believe,” Tice said. “I hope that they’ll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn’t exist right now.” …
Tice said his information is different from the Terrorist Surveillance Program that Bush acknowledged in December and from news accounts this week that the NSA has been secretly collecting phone call records of millions of Americans. “It’s an angle that you haven’t heard about yet,” he said. … He would not discuss with a reporter the details of his allegations, saying doing so would compromise classified information and put him at risk of going to jail. He said he “will not confirm or deny” if his allegations involve the illegal use of space systems and satellites.
Oh my... Bush may not be able to spin his way out of this one. He's going to go on TV tonight to explain his immigration reform plan. It's pretty close to something that polls very well, so he might just get a little bump.
But if Tice is right and his testimony gets leaked (a real possibility if the programs are as shocking as he claims), then don't expect that bump to have any legs. If satellites are watching aunt Agnes hang laundry in the backyard, expect his numbers to take a nosedive.
Correction: Bush will address the nation monday, not friday.