Commanders’ Dan Snyder responds to allegations of spying on NFL owners: ‘It’s patently false’
The commander of the U.S. Space Command made a statement about an ongoing dispute over the National Security Agency’s spying program, which would not be the first time he issued a statement about a subject that might not be accurate.
But commander Dan Snyder’s comments — and the statements of people who have heard them from news organizations — show a White House that is at odds with the public’s perception of the role that the commander of the military’s Space Command plays in the nation’s security.
Snyder defended the Space Command at a press briefing Wednesday. The statement, which was released after the briefing was televised live, appeared to be responding to a report in The Guardian, which said the Obama administration has been secretly monitoring satellite signals — and even, through a program called ThinThread, the phone calls of people who make such calls in the U.S.
But the commander of the U.S. Space Command appeared to contradict the newspaper’s report, and suggested publicly that the program had ended years ago.
“I will say I think it’s patently false that there is a program of communications interception in place that’s being run by the NSA. It doesn’t exist,” Snyder said Wednesday. “It is false. And it’s just plain wrong. We’re not interested in the calls of Americans. If you’re interested in the calls of the people living in the United States you turn on your cell phone or you call a phone number.
“There is absolutely no way you would be intercepting and listening to the calls of the American people,” he said.
The space commander also said that the federal government didn’t have the right to collect the records of Americans who were suspected of being terrorists because of the provisions of the Patriot Act, as The Guardian had reported.
“If the NSA goes looking to go through the phone of someone it’s up to them,” Snyder said. “They have the power to do so, and if they choose to go through the phone book of the entire country they can. That is their choice. And the people in Congress are the ones who decide