Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Not as simple as it was put

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a hard time believing that the FISA approval process was as simple and cut and dried as the annointed "expert" on NPR the other morning was saying.

And now I'm reading some stuff that bears that skepticism out in Why Bush Approved the Wiretaps.

The Patriot Act included some provisions, supported by lawmakers of both parties, to make securing such warrants easier. But it did not fix the problem. In April 2004, when members of the September 11 Commission briefed the press on some of their preliminary findings, they reported that significant problems remained.

"Many agents in the field told us that although there is now less hesitancy in seeking approval for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the application process nonetheless continues to be long and slow," the commission said. "Requests for such approvals are overwhelming the ability of the system to process them and to conduct the surveillance. The Department of Justice and FBI are attempting to address bottlenecks in the process."

Well, if something's broke, let's fix it -- but let's keep in mind that it's real hard to stop terrorists with a blindfold on.

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