Friday, March 09, 2007

I hate to say we told you so, but....

And they all said we were paranoid. Of course the government would never misuse the excessive powers given to them under the PATRIOT Act. Only a bunch of anti-American pinko commies would even suggest such a thing.

Except that now the Justice Department’s own Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has more than just suggested such a thing - it flat out said in a report issued today that the FBI has misused the provision of the PATRIOT Act that allows the agency to demand sensitive personal information without judicial supervision.

According to the Washington Post, the OIG "found that FBI agents used national security letters without citing an authorized investigation, claimed 'exigent' circumstances that did not exist in demanding information and did not have adequate documentation to justify the issuance of letters."

This is the part where we get to say "I told you so" (but in a really nice way, of course). Check out the ACLU's 2003 report, Unpatriotic Acts: The FBI's Power to Rifle Through Your Records and Personal Belongings Without Telling You.

Ya know, maybe that whole "checks and balances" thing wasn't such a bad thing after all. Congress, you might want to look into it.

Sara in Philly

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Blogger Atheism Quotes said...

This is what so many people who were thinking "but we NEED this kind of thing" should be made to eat.

Not only was it an abuse of the law in the first place, but now we have the evidence to show that the power was also abused broadly. Not "criminally" apparently, but through incompetence.

Which is worse? Intentionally abusing the power, or a bunch of power-drunk morons doing something they don't even know is wrong?

And these are the people who are supposed to be *protecting* us.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the irony this evening of Republican Rep. Sensenbrenner speaking on the PBS's Newshour with indignation at the abuse by the FBI of the NSL's. Yet only a short time ago, when the Republican Congress functioned as Bush's cheer leading squad, he was leading the charge to give the Feds the tools they needed, the Patriot Act among them. Of course, he admitted to no such hypocrisy, but it's there for anyone who wants to search the record. When one hasn't the power, one sure does eat a lot of crow, even if one doesn't want to admit it.

11:04 PM  

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