An American investigative journalist says the US National Security Agency “possesses highly embarrassing communications” of some members of Congress, using the records to “blackmail” the lawmakers.
Wayne Madsen said a hearing on the NSA’s spying programs scheduled to be held at Congress on Wednesday is just “for public consumption.”
Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson has invited the critics of the NSA spying programs to a Wednesday hearing in order to stop “constant misleading information from intelligence chiefs.”
Glenn Greenwald, a prominent American journalist working with Britain’s Guardian newspaper who published leaks about the NSA’s spying programs, has said he would testify before Congress via video.
“I believe that Glenn Greenwald will probably go over some of the revelations that we now already know,” Madsen said in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday.
However, Madsen expressed doubts that the hearing would have a positive outcome for US citizens, saying NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander has lobbied against an amendment that sought to curb the agency’s powers to collect data on phone calls of millions of Americans.
The US House of Representatives voted 217-205 Wednesday against an amendment which would have required the government to identify a person under investigation before it could collect the person’s phone call records.
“I’m not sure that issue will come up but it’s very important issue that Gen. Keith Alexander personally lobbied against the passage of that bill,” Madsen said.
“He is in violation of federal law and should be prosecuted but he won’t because Eric Holder, the Attorney General, and Mr. Obama are on the same page as the Congressional Democrats and Republicans who lined up to defeat the legislation that would limit NSA’s ability to conduct this dragnet surveillance and stockpiling of personal data of Americans,” the journalist added.