WHILE THE CHIEF of the US’s National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, was giving his evidence at a congressional hearing today, he had no idea he was being photobombed.
Amongst the serious men and women in suits sat a number of people wearing large comedy sunglasses, which bore a distinctly unfunny slogan: ‘Stop spying’.
Protestors seated by Gen Alexander. Pic: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
They were making a statement as the House Intelligence Committee heard about potential changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
One of the protestors was CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. CodePink is a “women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement” which it says works “to end US funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities”.
It has previously held a four-month vigil outside the White House against the US invasion of Iraq, protested Syria hearings and hosted a global drone summit.
Pic: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
According to their Twitter account, the CodePink members were held in the hall outside the NSA hearing for questioning, before being taken into police custody. They were released at about 9pm GMT.
The hearings came as Gen Alexander denied that the NSA had scooped up millions of phone records in Europe.
Edward Snowden alleged that Washington had collected telephone calls and online communications in Europe as part of an anti-terror sweep. But Alexander said that the information was not on European citizens.