POLITICS
02/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Whistleblower Tells Olbermann NSA Spied On Journalists (VIDEO)

On Keith Olbermann's show Wednesday night, former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice said that reporters were spied on inside the United States.

Watch:

Former NSA analyst Russell Tice, who has claimed to be a source for the NY Times explosive 2005 story, told Keith Olbermann last night that the NSA collected information on journalists.

Transcript, via Politico:

OLBERMANN: I mention that you say specific groups were targeted. What group or groups can you tell us about?

TICE: Well, there's sort of two avenues to look at this. What I just mentioned was sort of the low-tech dragnet look at this. The things that I specifically were involved with were more on the high-tech side. And try to envision, you know, the dragnets are out there, collecting all the fish and then ferreting out what they may. And my technical angle was to try to harpoon fish from an airplane kind of thing. So it's two separate worlds. But in the world that I was in, as to not harpoon the wrong people in some -- in one of the operations that I was in, we looked at organizations just supposedly so that we would not target them. So that we knew where they were, so as not to have a problem with them. Now, what I was finding out, though, is that the collection on those organizations was 24/7, and you know, 365 days a year, and it made no sense. And that's -- I started to investigate that. That's about the time when they came after me, to fire me. But an organization that was collected on were U.S. news organizations and reporters and journalists.

OLBERMANN: To what purpose? I mean, is there a file somewhere full of every e-mail sent by all the reporters at the "New York Times?" Is there a recording somewhere of every conversation I had with my little nephew in upstate New York? Is it like that?

TICE: If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything. Yes. It would be everything.