Top Secret America
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of PBS
Posted: November 22nd, 2021
Since 9/11, the government has been building a huge anti-terror apparatus. In the first few days, the entire blueprint for what would happen over the next decade was written, all in secret. The public didn't know. The media didn't know. And it would take us years to find out. In secret, the administration had authorized the CIA to use what they called "enhanced interrogation techniques." They can do a lot of things that used to be considered torture. Waterboarding, for example. By any definition, it's torture. The Justice Department called it "enhanced interrogation methods" and it approved seven of them, including waterboarding. It took reporter Dana Priest years to piece together where prisoners like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were. They had been hidden in a secret network of CIA prisons known as "black sites." For the first time, the White House had approved the building of an international prison system entirely in secret. The Terrorist Surveillance Program authorized the NSA to intercept certain telephone calls and emails of American citizens without a warrant. The NSA created a global electronic dragnet capable of reaching into America's communication networks, capturing 1.7 billion intercepts every day. The NSA turned to a new force in the covert war, private contractors. You had this boom in the corporate intelligence world, as well, companies like CACI, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics. The NSA spent billions of dollars on more than 480 private companies.