NSA director Michael Hayden initiated the Trailblazer Project – the NSA Spying Software for Cell Phones, Email and other Communications.

The Trailblazer Project was a National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. James P. Chandler, III was an advocate of Trailblazer for President Bill Clinton.

Numerous NSA whistleblowers including J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Tom Drake, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark would later complain to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed (ThinThread), but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched.

The ThinThread budget was $19.5 million, whereas Hayden’s Trailblazer budget was $4 billion. Hayden went for $4 billion. Binney contends Americans are less safe with the $4 billion spend because more bulk data makes catching bad guys harder, not easier, as compared to his targeted ThinThread program. His ThinThread successor, Tom Drake, was subsequently indicted in April 2010 under the Espionage Act on trumped up charges to silence his criticism of the illegal NSA programs. Clearly, these conspirators only used “national security” as the smokescreen for their greed and power-mongering.

According to William Binney, General Hayden, Vice President Dick Cheney, CIA Director George Tenet, and President Bush later used 9/11 as the excuse to start collecting all data from all American citizens through the Trailblazer program initiated under President Bill Clinton. So, Hillary Clinton presumably knew about Trailblazer as well. President George W. Bush approved the program in secret (illegally), without contract authorization, in cooperation with AT&T (Project Stellar Wind), and without approval from the FISA Court. Only two other people knew: the chair and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee at the time Porter Goss (R-Fla.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). However, even before Binney whistle blew on them, they had already signed off on the illegality.

The NSA created three separate sections to accomplish the warrantless surveillance of Americans: (1) the Metadata Analysis Center (MAC), (2) the Email Analysis Center (EAC) and (3) the Content Analysis Center (CAC) groups, in their new, “rogue” (Binney) Advanced Analytics Division (AAD).

QUESTIONER—JIM GILMORE (PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEW): “So you retire. Why do you retire?”
[Binney retired/resigned on Oct. 31, 2001]

ANSWER—BINNEY: “Well, I couldn’t be an accessory to the violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country. I couldn’t be an accessory to that, or an accessory to other crimes being committed, like exposing all this data to the FBI. It was acquired without a warrant, you know. And this is the kind of data that they would use to arrest people, which they did. So I couldn’t be a party to that. That’s just a total violation of our justice process.”

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