In total, Fine said, the FBI issued almost 200,000 national security letters from 2003 through 2006, and they were used in a third of all FBI national security and computer probes during that time. Fine said his investigators have identified hundreds of possible violations of laws or internal guidelines in the use of the letters, including cases in which FBI agents made improper requests, collected more data than they were allowed to, or did not have proper authorization to proceed with the case.
Fine also pointed to the FBI’s “troubling” use of the letters to obtain vast quantities of telephone numbers or other records with a single request. Investigators identified 11 such cases, involving information related to about 4,000 phone numbers, that did not comply with USA Patriot Act requirements or that violated FBI guidelines.
As noted in the article National Security Letters are used specifically to bypass requirements that law enforcement officials have probable cause. George ‘ small government Republican’ Bush not only doesn’t have a problem with kicking dirt on the Fourth Amendment he wants to make it easier, President weakens espionage oversight
Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority.
more stories like this
The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush’s order late last month. But critics say Bush’s order is consistent with a pattern of steps by the administration that have systematically scaled back Watergate-era intelligence reforms.
“It’s quite clear that the Bush administration officials who were around in the 1970s are settling old scores now,” said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. “Here they are even preventing oversight within the executive branch. They have closed the books on the post-Watergate era.”
Moderation, restraint, Congressional and judicial oversight, all traditional American ideals about government power thrown out the window with the mighty pen of the elite frat boy. The Founding Father’s
dream nightmare come to pass.
Foreign Policy has a video interview up with Veteran FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan. Cloonan has interrogated actual AQ suspects, unlike the Rightie bloggers that have speculative blood filled fantasies while writing from their parent’s garage apartment. He also addresses the Right’s favorite 24 meme, what if there was a ticking bomb etc, How do you make a terrorist talk?