Jan 05 2006

False Alarm

Published by at 10:25 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

Bill Gertz at the Washington Times has a story that initially looked interesting when Drudge was teasing it on his site.

A former National Security Agency official wants to tell Congress about electronic intelligence programs that he asserts were carried out illegally by the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Russ Tice, a whistleblower who was dismissed from the NSA last year, stated in letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees that he is prepared to testify about highly classified Special Access Programs, or SAPs, that were improperly carried out by both the NSA and the DIA.

Sounds ominous. But when you dig into the story what you have in Tice is someone with some serious problems. The least of which is he is inexplicably drawn to TV cameras and microphones.

Tice has been at the odds with the agency since he reported suspicions that a female co-worker at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was a spy for the People’s Republic of China.

Tice, a 20-year veteran of the federal intelligence agencies, worked at DIA until 2002. He made his initial report about the suspected spy at DIA after noticing that a co-worker voiced sympathies for China, traveled extensively abroad and displayed affluence beyond her means.

To make a long story short, they investigated her and found her clean. But did Tice stop? Nope.

“At the time, I sent an e-mail to Mr. James (the person at DIA handling his complaint) questioning the competence of counterintelligence at FBI,” Tice wrote in a document submitted to the Inspector General. In the e-mail, he mentioned that he suspected that he was the subject of electronic monitoring.

Shortly after sending the e-mail, an NSA security officer ordered him to report for “a psychological evaluation” even though he had just gone through one nine months earlier. Tice believes James called NSA to ask them “to go after him” on their behalf.

When Tice called Mr. James to confront him about calling the NSA security official, he told Tice that “there was reason to be concerned” about his suspicion about his former co-worker.

The Defense Department psychologist concluded that Tice suffered from psychotic paranoia, according to Tice. “He did this even though he admitted that I did not show any of the normal indications of someone suffering from paranoia,” Tice wrote in a statement to the inspector general.

“I knew my from that day that my career was over,” said Tice, who has worked in intelligence since he graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985. His job at NSA was so top secret that he could not even reveal his title.

In the summer of 2003, Tice told the NSA that he was considering talking to his congressional representatives about waste and abuse at NSA security. He was told that he would face retaliation if he did so, Tice wrote in his statement to the inspector general.

A few weeks after contacting Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., the retaliation intensified, he said. The NSA even sent an agent to his home to “threaten me in person with unspecified actions if I went to the press,” Tice said.

The guy did not follow the process. And when the result was not what he wanted he tried to retaliate to Congress and the press. Sounds more like an emotional break down. Nowhere do we get the government’s side.

It is clear this news probably has little to do with the current implosion of the left as they stand for the rights of highly suspected terrorists in the US (they are talking to Al Qaeda regularly, that makes it a good bet they sympathize with them). We shall see if there is more than this. But Tice is out on a vendetta, not to stop serious breaches of the law.


Mac Ranger has confirmed my until now unspoken suspicion this Tice guy was harassing this poor woman. What set him off is a mystery. But I bet you she either showed him up once and embarrassed the hell out of him, or he had some ‘feelings’ for her and was not happy when he was rebuffed – most likely in an embarrassing way.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “False Alarm”

  1. Rick Moran says:

    I agree that Tice is probably an idiot but crazy? Look what they did to that Able Danger officer in the Pentagon.

    It could be that he was too much of a nuisance and decided to make his life hell by sending him to wash motor pool cars and work in the warehouse while hoping he would quit.We already know the limits to which they’ll go to discredit someone who displeases them.


    Bill Gertz has a story in today’s Washington Times that actually “broke ” almost two weeks ago; that a former NSA and DIA employee wrote a letter to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee asking to testify about …

  3. sbd says:

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions on this guy just yet. Something similar was just investigated by DOJ and the OIG concluded that if the FBI had seriously looked to the issue, they would have found that the linguist was telling the truth.

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Office of the Inspector General
    A Review of the FBI’s Actions in
    Connection With Allegations Raised
    By Contract Linguist Sibel Edmonds

    Office of the Inspector General
    Office of Oversight and Review

    January 2005


    In this section, we examine the allegations Edmonds made against her co-worker. In the classified version of the report, we fully described and evaluated the evidence underlying nearly a dozen separate allegations Edmonds made regarding the co-worker which, when viewed together, amounted to an accusation against the co-worker of possible espionage. With respect to each individual allegation, we analyzed the facts supporting or refuting the allegation. We did not attempt to reach a definitive conclusion on the truth of each allegation or whether the implication of espionage was supported. Rather, given the available evidence, we assessed whether the FBI treated each allegation appropriately. Because the facts underlying each allegation remain classified, we cannot include our detailed description and analysis of each individual allegation in this unclassified summary. Instead, we describe our evaluation of Edmonds’ allegations in general terms.

    We found that many of Edmonds’ core allegations relating to the coworker were supported by either documentary evidence or witnesses other than Edmonds. Moreover, we concluded that, had the FBI performed a more careful investigation of Edmonds’ allegations, it would have discovered evidence of significant omissions and inaccuracies by the co-worker related to these allegations. These omissions and inaccuracies, in turn, should have led to further investigation by the FBI. In part, we attributed the FBI’s failure to investigate further to its unwarranted reliance on the assumption that proper procedures had been followed by the FBI during the co-worker’s hiring and background investigation, which did not include a risk assessment, contrary to FBI practice. We also found that Edmonds was justified in raising a number of these concerns to her supervisors. For example, with respect to an allegation that focused on the co-worker’s performance, which Edmonds believed to be an indication of a security problem, the evidence clearly corroborated Edmonds’ allegations.

    With regard to some of Edmonds’ allegations, the OIG did not find evidence to support her allegation or the inferences that she drew from certain facts. However, Edmonds’ assertions regarding the co-worker, when viewed as a whole, raised substantial questions and were supported by various pieces of evidence. While there are potentially innocuous explanations for the coworker’s conduct, other explanations were not innocuous. Although the exact nature and extent of the co-worker’s security issues are disputed, it is clear from the OIG’s investigation that the facts giving rise to Edmonds’ concerns could have been uncovered had the FBI investigated Edmonds’ allegations further. We believe that the FBI should have investigated the allegations more thoroughly. We also believe the FBI’s handling of these allegations reflected an unwarranted reluctance to vigorously investigate these serious allegations or to conduct a thorough examination of Edmonds’ allegations. As will be discussed in the next section, the FBI did not, and still has not, conducted such an investigation.

    Finally, as we discuss in Part V, rather than investigate Edmonds’ allegations vigorously and thoroughly, the FBI concluded that she was a disruption and terminated her contract. We concluded that the FBI could not show, by clear and convincing evidence, that it would have terminated Edmonds’ services absent her disclosures.


  4. Doug says:

    Tice was part of a group with fellow wacko and Bush Basher Larry Johnson, Vallery Plame, and several other disreputes.
    Whistleblower, my arse.

  5. AJStrata says:


    Tice blew a whistle up your what? 😉

    Couldn’t resist! You are right of course.

  6. […] AJStrata links MacRanger, who suggests an explanation for the behavior which led to Tice being fired: this Tice guy was harassing this poor woman. What set him off is a mystery. But I bet you she either showed him up once and embarrassed the hell out of him, or he had some ‘feelings’ for her and was not happy when he was rebuffed – most likely in an embarrassing way. […]

  7. Doug says:

    Supposed NSA “Whistleblower” Tied to Wilson/Plame
    Folks, there’s something about this that really smells, because I don’t believe that Tice is actually this big a player in all this.
    I’ve done a little research. Clarice Feldman today at one of our favorite blogs, the American Thinker, has done a little research, too, on this, and has found out that this guy Tice is part of a group called the National Security Whistleblowers.
    This group was formed in August of 2004. If you look up the group, the National Security Whistleblowers group, you’ll notice that the founder, director, and chief spokesperson of the group is Sibel Edmond.
    She’s faced a real uphill battle in her struggle with the FBI which fired her.

    Her story about why she was fired from the FBI has a number of variations — although she, like Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, numbers among the darlings of the people that hate George W. Bush.
    Also other members of the National Security Whistleblowers, Daniel Ellsberg, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson. These are members of VIPs, V-I-Ps, the group that encouraged intelligence agents to leak.
    This is the group that shopped Joe Wilson and his story

    — and if you’re wondering who Larry Johnson is he was in the CIA with Valerie Plame, is close to her. They seem to have been behind much of the Plame-Wilson story.
    This whole VIPs NSW group has ties, it appears, to the Valerie Plame-Joe Wilson story.
    This guy’s letters go to Congress and at the same time the New York Times James Risen story appears about all of this.
    It seems to me that we have an orchestrated, premeditated campaign with the media as willing accomplices and participants.
    But I’m going to tell you what I think. I think this is all an attempt to divert our attention, because I don’t think Russ Tice is the guy leaking all this stuff. I don’t think Russ Tice is in this.
    I think the leakers are in Congress

  8. Snapple says:


    I found out some of what you posted, too. I think I posted about this group when AJ was posting about Able Danger.

    AJ thinks that Tony Shaffer is so great, but how is what he did different than what these others are doing? He revealed a secret program.

    They all are in this organization of Whistleblowers, too.

    ZAID has this organization called the JAmes Madison Project. They pretend to be very patriotic, but I am skeptical.

    ZAID quotes JAmes Madison who said:

    “”A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”

    OK, but that doesn’t mean we all have to know about our government’s secrets, because then our enemies will know, too.

    Shaffer and Edmonds have the same lawyers.

    Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
    Krieger & Zaid, PLLC
    1920 N Street, N.W.
    Suite 300
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    Here is the party line about Edmonds from an anti-war site.

    It seems like these people and their lawyers are using the whole “whistleblower” thing to reveal classified information.

    I wonder if the ACLU is behind a lot of this.

    I don’t think these kind of lawyers are interested in my civil rights. I think that they just don’t want the NSA to spy on terrorists and catch them.

    This new leaker Russ Tice, Sibyl Edmonds, and Tony Schaffer all tell these stories that make the government and FBI look really bad.

    To me it seems that these folks are trying to discredit the FBI and the Administration.

    Look at what creeps like Wayne Madsen and James Ridgeway say

    Ridgeway claimed :

    “The NSA, still regarded as the shining star in the intelligence world because of its code-breaking skills, is reported to be in a mess, with old computers unable to keep up with the workload and, as with other intelligence agencies, a staff with an out-of-date Cold War mentality. ” http://cryptome.org/nsa-lke-eyeball.htm

    It doesn’t sound to me like NSA has old computers. Sounds to me like they are doing great and these “whistleblowers” are unhappy about that.

  9. Snapple says:

    I think I got my paragraphs a little mixed up in this previous posts. Hope you can sort it out. My eyes are tired.

  10. […] ABCNews is reporting Russell Tice, ex-NSA employee, who apparently was so obsessed about a co-worker being a Chinese spy he who violated rules and tried to investigate her, has decided to admit he was a source for the NY Times story: But now, Tice tells ABC News that some of those secret “black world” operations run by the NSA were operated in ways that he believes violated the law. He is prepared to tell Congress all he knows about the alleged wrongdoing in these programs run by the Defense Department and the National Security Agency in the post-9/11 efforts to go after terrorists. […]