Tucker FOIAs the NSA

Illustration for article titled Tucker FOIAs the NSA

Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

It was about two weeks in the past that Tucker Carlson first claimed, with out proof, that not solely was the National Security Agency spying on him and his workers however that it was plotting to “leak” his present’s inner communications in an obvious effort to take it “off the air.”

Not lengthy after that, the NSA took the pretty unprecedented step of issuing a public denial, alleging by way of Twitter that Carlson “has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try and take his program off air.”

The complete episode is weird—for a lot of causes. Even in immediately’s day and age, the sight of a well known cable information dunce publicly feuding with America’s largest, creepiest spy company is one thing that you just don’t see fairly often.

Now, it might seem that the information anchor and his present really filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the spy company, in an obvious effort to shake unfastened any proof of the authorities’s supposed snooping. Alex Pfeiffer, investigative producer for Tucker Carlson Tonight, filed the FOIA on June twenty eighth, Buzzfeed has reported, garnering the doc via its personal data request.

Pfeiffer’s FOIA, which consists of solely about two sentences price of textual content, casts a really broad and imprecise internet.

“I am requesting any call records, texts, or emails the NSA has obtained from journalist Tucker Carlson’s cell phone or email,” reads the document. “I am requesting any memos or documents related to surveilling journalist Tucker Carlson. I am requesting any communication between NSA officials regarding journalist Tucker Carlson.”

The dates for document capture span from Jan. 1st, 2019, to June 28th, 2021, the date of the FOIA’s filing.

On the one hand, it doesn’t take a whole lot to believe that Carlson’s claims could be, in one way or another, true. It’s not as if the NSA has a lot of guardrails (i.e., meaningful congressional or judicial oversight, ethical scruples, etc) to dissuade it from rogue spying.

On the other hand, making claims of this kind is a pretty easy way for a news network like Fox to gin up attention and viewership out of nothing. Carlson has provided no evidence that his communications have been intercepted beyond his claims about the unknown Mr. X who supposedly tipped him off.

As we’ve written about, this complete episode really comes at an apt time. Recent, compounding surveillance controversies have resurrected the ongoing debate about the risks of omnipresent legislation enforcement spying in America. That doesn’t make Tucker any much less of an annoying and imperfect harbinger of mentioned message, nor does it make him not doubtlessly filled with shit.

Read the complete doc beneath.

Tucker Carlson FOIA by Washington Examiner

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