Categorized | National News

Gov’t Knew Of Phone Tapping Says US Judge

Despite claims from both the current and former administrations of having no knowledge that the United States through its National Security Agency has been recording all cell phone calls made to, from and within The Bahamas, a US judge insists that the programme could not have happened without Bahamian intelligence.

Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge and current judicial analyst for the Fox News Network, said this revelation might have political implications for Bahamian authorities.

“The Government of The Bahamas would have to be aware of this if this is literally 100 per cent as Snowden says and the US government doesn’t deny it. “That would be impossible without the intelligence and law enforcement in the Bahamian government and that may present a political problem for them,” the judge said during an appearance on Fox Business last week.

Last week reports surfaced that these calls are being secretly intercepted, recorded and archived by the NSA as a part of a top-secret system which is codenamed “SOMALGET.”

The report, which cites documents provided by US contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, further alleged that the programme was implemented without the consent or knowledge of the Bahamian government.

It is believed that the programme may have been in operation in The Bahamas since at least 2011.

“I believe Edward Snowden because the way he releases the materials is he is releasing documentary support for this,” Judge Napolitano said. “I also believe Edward Snowden because not a single one of his revelations has been denied by the NSA or the federal government.

Judge Napolitano explained that the NSA’s mission is to look for national security threats not tax cheats and he noted that The Bahamas is not considered a national security threat to the United States.

“If the federal government is using the NSA to look for tax cheats under the subterfuge that it is looking for threats to national security, it’s not only violating the constitution, its violating federal statute and the evidence obtained from this would be incompetent as evidence at trial,” he said.

The Bahamas government has since demanded an explanation from the United States.
Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell last Tuesday called the claims startling and said the facts must be determined.

“The behaviour described would be clearly illegal and on the face of it an abuse of powers,” he said. “It would also represent a great moral failing on the part of its perpetrators, in addition to illegality which challenges the founding principles of the rule of law. It would also be an invasion of the privacy of the individual, a cherished democratic value and a legal right.”

Mr. Mitchell has suggested that considering when the programme started the previous administration may have been aware of its existence.

However, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette, who served in the former administration has denied those claims.

The report said in addition to The Bahamas, the NSA has been monitoring calls in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Afghanistan.

Bahamian officials in Washington D.C. met with US officials last week who are investigating the matter.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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