They Spied on the President Too

SpyingClear and present danger
PRESIDENT George Maxwell Richards, former Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma, his wife Kalawati, Government and Opposition politicians, trade-unionists, journalists and even some of their children were subject to secret surveillance by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar revealed yesterday as she expressed a “deep sense of personal outrage” over the SIA’s use of illegal wiretapping.

Spy list reveals: Pres’ phone tapped
The telephones of President George Maxwell Richards, former police commissioner James Philbert, PNM MP Keith Rowley, businessman Gary Aboud and comedian Rachael Price were among those tapped by the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) under the previous administration, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has claimed.

Macco Manning
The most damning, explosive, “troublesome and vexing” of the revelations made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the Parliament yesterday, was that the nation’s Head of State, its first citizen, President George Maxwell Richards’ phone was among those persons whose phones were being tapped and e-mails intercepted by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA), the “secret intelligence agency”, since 2005.

Sit down!
MINUTES after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made the embarrassing disclosure that the State, under the PNM, had for years spied on citizens, Speaker Wade Mark was forced to order San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning to take his seat after Manning several times made moves to respond to Persad-Bissessar’s statement in breach of the Standing Orders.

Speaker blanks Manning in House
House Speaker Wade Mark yesterday firmly refused to allow former prime minister Patrick Manning’s repeated appeals to make a request in Parliament following a statement by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. In a tense stand-off between the two, Mark threatened to ask Manning to leave the Parliament Chamber if he did not take his seat.

Manning: I didn’t know who was monitored
Former prime minister Patrick Manning stated yesterday that he was “not aware at all” that President George Maxwell Richards’ phone was being monitored by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA).

Nobody above law
Former prime minister Patrick Manning says nobody is above the scrutiny of national security in T&T.

Rowley: Kamla did nothing wrong
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar did nothing wrong when she revealed in Parliament yesterday that the phones of many prominent citizens were illegally tapped by the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA).

Don’t blame PNM for actions of Manning
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday urged the population not to blame the People’s National Movement (PNM) for the actions of one man, former prime minister Patrick Manning.

Sad Rowley appeals: Don’t blame the PNM
LEADER of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley, yesterday sought to distance the PNM from the wiretapping scandal by the secret spy unit, the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), carried out under the former prime minister Patrick Manning administration.

‘Looks like the Gestapo have been revived’
Former chief justice Satnarine Sharma yesterday described as malicious and vindictive the order which went out to have his conversations recorded over a period of time while he was in office.

‘Victims’ speak out
Following are the comments of some of the people who Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the Special Intelligence Agency (SIA) spied on…

Manning attacks Govt
PREVENTED by Speaker Wade Mark from breaking parliamentary procedure by responding to a statement made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar on wiretapping, former Prime Minister Patrick Manning rushed out of the chamber to hold a press conference in what could be interpreted as an act of pique, even as debate in Parliament continued.

Spy agency must be made legal
Yesterday’s revelation in Parliament by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that a state organisation named the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) had been intercepting the telephone and electronic mail communications of public and private citizens of T&T between March 2005 and October 2010 would have shocked many people in this country.

Shock and shame
The people of Trinidad and Tobago must surely have been shocked by the revelations made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Ralph Brown mum on Kamla’s report

SIA workers ‘in the dark’ on spying abuses
THE MAJORITY of persons employed in the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) were unaware the unit was being abused to spy on politicians, judges and others, a source attached to the unit has said.

Wiretapping power moves from PM to Security Minister
New wiretapping legislation proposes that the National Security Minister, rather than the Prime Minister, will be the person who can authorise interception of private communication, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar outlined yesterday.

Flashback: The need for legislation
Monday, June 14 2004 – Newsday
On March 14, 1997 the then opposition MP Keith Rowley brought a motion in the House of Representatives asking that the House condemn the “political use to which the security services are reportedly being put.” The issue arose in the context of allegations that the then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday was spying on the internal workings of the opposition People’s National Movement. Prime Minister Panday, in the debate on the motion, countered by stating, inter alia, that spying on the opposition had been the norm under other regimes and proceeded to read into Hansard a newspaper article headlined “Manning: We used to spy too” which alleged that Opposition Leader Patrick Manning had admitted “that when his Government was in power, he too used the National Security Council to find out what was happening with other political parties.”

2 thoughts on “They Spied on the President Too”

  1. I wrote a while back that Manning need to see the inside of a jail, and since that time the evidence which patently ties him to all sorts of criminality only seem to mount. When we as a society start hauling these high powered abusers of the public trust before the courts, getting them convicted, and giving them prison terms to match their crimes, then and only then will Trinidad and Tobago begin to break free from the grip of corruption and gross mismanagement. Yes, he deserve his day in court, along with Julianna and Calder and the rest of the “trash T&T”, and the “thief T&T blind crew”, but somehow the process should be sped up since, as the saying goes, “justice delayed is justice denied”.

  2. From my observations, it would seem that Mr. Manning should be evaluated by a psychiatrist. But then, there are thousands of people who will rather have him as their leader.

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