Records of two phone conversations between the pair on 25 February 2011 have been published by the Foreign Affairs Committee as its inquiry into Britain’s intervention continues.
Mr Blair made his first call to the Libyan dictator at 11.15am, saying he had tried to reach him for days as the “difficult and dangerous situation” escalated with global calls for intervention.
As Arab Spring protests grew and were brutally crushed by Libyan forces, sparking the formation of militarised anti-government rebel groups that started to seize territory, Gaddafi blamed al-Qaeda for the violence.
“The fight is against al-Qaeda…we are not fighting them, they are attacking us,” he told Mr Blair as the former British Prime Minister emphasised the need for peaceful dialogue with rebel leaders.
They told ABC that when linguists complained to supervisors about eavesdropping on personal conversations, they were ordered to continue transcribing the calls. "At NSA, the law was followed assiduously," said Hayden's spokesman, Mark Mansfeld. Hayden sanctioned or tolerated illegalities of any sort is ridiculous on its face." Author Jim Bamford was the first to interview the two former NSA linguists for his new book, "The Shadow Factory," which will be published next week.
NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel said the agency's Inspector General has investigated some of the allegations and found them "unsubstantiated." Other accusations are still being looked at, she said. Bamford told CNN the accounts from the whistle-blowers demonstrate the NSA was listening to the private conversations of Americans, transcribing them and keeping them. Bamford has written two other books on the NSA and was a party to an unsuccessful ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.
The allegations were made by two former military intercept operators on a television news report Thursday evening. Army Reserves Arab linguist, told ABC News the NSA was listening to the phone calls of U. military officers, journalists and aid workers overseas who were talking about "personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism." David Murfee Faulk, a former U. Navy Arab linguist, said in the news report that he and his colleagues were listening to the conversations of military officers in Iraq who were talking with their spouses or girlfriends in the United States.
The congressional oversight committees said Thursday that the Americans targeted included military officers in Iraq who called friends and family in the United States.
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The ACLU issued a statement on Thursday saying the allegations show that the government "misled the American public about the scope of its surveillance activities." The ABC report "is an indictment not only of the Bush administration, but of all of those political leaders, Democratic and Republican, who have been saying that the executive branch can be trusted with surveillance powers that are essentially unchecked," said ACLU official Jamell Jaffer. A House Intelligence Committee spokesman said the panel has been in contact with the NSA and is awaiting the agency's response.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, called the allegations "extremely disturbing." "Anytime there is an allegation regarding abuse of the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, it is a very serious matter," said Rockefeller, adding that his committee is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure the government is following the strict procedures to protect U.