NSA threatened Qwest
CEO with repercussions if he didn’t cut a surveillance deal
By Wayne Madsen,
Online Journal Contributing Writer
(WMR) -- WMR has learned from sources who worked in senior positions for the telecommunications company Qwest that its former chairman and CEO, Joseph Nacchio, was threatened with retaliation after he refused to participate in an unconstitutional and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping program after he met with NSA officials on February 27, 2001, some six months before the 9/11 attacks. Nacchio refused to turn over customer records without a court order -- something NSA did not possess at the time it made its request.
refused NSA’s request on the grounds that it was illegal,
sources close to Nacchio reported his legal problems with the
Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission
began in earnest. First, Qwest lost out on several lucrative
federal government contracts and second, Nacchio was indicted
and convicted in 2007 of 19 counts of insider stock trading.
Nacchio was sentenced to six years in the Schuykill federal
prison camp in
In January, US
District Judge Marcia Krieger of the 10th Circuit Court in
NSA surveillance program, once known by its highly-classified
code-name STELLAR WIND, was revealed by AT&T employee Mark
Klein, who divulged NSA’s “secret room” on the 6th floor at
AT&T’s central office on Folsom Street in
AT&T and Verizon agreed to participate in the STELLAR WIND program.
Even though there is ample evidence that the federal government engaged in massive prosecutorial misconduct in retaliation for Nacchio’s refusal to participate in STELLAR WIND and associated FBI surveillance programs, the Supreme Court refused to review the case against the former Qwest chief. The Supreme Court also denied Nacchio bail pending his appeal, a clear attempt by the most corrupt Supreme Court in American history to prevent Nacchio from airing the NSA’s dirty laundry about domestic wiretapping and pressure on telecommunication firms’ senior corporate officials.
Qwest shareholders and retirees blamed Nacchio for their financial losses, however, it is now clear that the NSA and the Bush administration targeted Qwest for retribution after its top boss refused to cooperate in the illegal domestic wiretap programs of the NSA and FBI.
Qwest founder, railroad and oil magnate Philip Anschutz, a conservative Christian who owns The Examiner chain of metro region newspapers and several entertainment firms and professional sports teams, testified on Nacchio’s behalf.
The news of NSA’s threats of retaliation against Nacchio will come as little comfort to those NSA employees, including the jailed ex-NSA analyst Ken Ford, Jr., on similar trumped up charges. If someone as wealthy and powerful as Nacchio could be brought down by the illegal domestic joint targeting operations carried out by the NSA, FBI, and corrupt Justice Department prosecutors, those rank-and-file NSA employees who have blown the whistle on NSA’s illegal operations stand little chance of having their “day in court.”
WMR has been told by NSA insiders that if the full extent of NSA’s illegal operations became public, the American people would go into a “state of shock.”