Brian Ross reports on the NSA’s routine interception of internet traffic without the benefit of any FISA warrants, and the LA Times’ decision to kill the story.

Whistle-blower AT&T technician Mark Klein says his effort to reveal alleged government surveillance of domestic Internet traffic was blocked not only by U.S. intelligence officials but also by the top editors of the Los Angeles Times.

In his first broadcast interview, which can be seen tonight on World News and Nightline, Klein describes how he stumbled across “secret NSA rooms” being installed at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco and later heard of similar rooms in at least six other cities, including Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Jose and Seattle.

“You needed an ordinary key and the code to punch into a key pad on the door, and the only person who had both of those things was the one guy cleared by the NSA,” Klein says of the “secret room” at the AT&T center in San Francisco.

Klein went to the Los Angeles Times and provided them with 120 pages of technical data on the illegal NSA snooping. Their editor, Dean Baquet, now the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, killed the story. Klein now oversees James Risen, Eric Lichtblau, and the other reporters that have done the hard reporting on the NSA.

John Negroponte (then the Director of National Intelligence) and Michael Hayden (then NSA director, now Director of Central Intelligence) invoked the State Secrets privilege to quash any judicial examination of the program.

Here is what Klein has to say:

“The only people that are being kept in the dark is the American people who are being misled and not realizing, not being told that their private information, that their liberties are being destroyed and tramped on,” he said.

End your boycott for a day and watch ABC News tonight. For once they are going to report on prima facie evidence of impeachable offenses.

As a reminder, the following was included in the second Article of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon.

Article 2

Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

This conduct has included one or more of the following:

2. He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.

That is precisely what Bush has done with the NSA. And he should be impeached for it.

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