Civil Liberties

FBI Underreporting Use of Patriot Act "National Security Letters"

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From an AP report:

A blistering Justice Department report accuses the FBI of underreporting its use of the Patriot Act to force businesses to turn over customer information in terrorism cases….The report, to be released Friday, also says the FBI failed to send follow-up subpoenas to telecommunications firms that were told to expect them…..

Overall, the FBI underreported the number of national security letters it issued by about 20 percent between 2003 and 2005….. In 2005 alone, the FBI delivered a total of 9,254 letters relating to 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The Patriot Act….allows the FBI to issue national security letters without a judge's approval in terrorism and espionage cases.

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  1. Does this really surprise anybody? Given all the other lies and “miscalculations”, I’d be surprised if they found anything to be true and accurate.

  2. JIMMYDAGEEK,

    Enough about the AP, the only time that the FBI expects on-time paperwork is when they want it from the citizenry.

  3. A blistering Justice Department report…

    Oh blistering is it? Oh Bad Bad FBI, shame on you [wags finger]. Is the Justice Department issuing arrest warrants? Will anyone be going to prison? Will Congress be revoking the FBI’s power to issue National Security Letters?

    Didn’t think so.

  4. As Donald Trump would say…

    “OOPS!”

  5. Warren – the same people who helped “Hans Brix” write his angry letter in Team America 🙂

    How many here think that PATRIOT is necessary? And how many war supporters also support PATRIOT?

    What did you feel post Oklahoma City?

    What about Ruby Ridge and then Waco (to get several administrations involved)?

    Where are your borders favoring/disfavoring reactions to those events?

    I do not intend this to be a “gotcha” series. Rather, I am genuinely interested in actual reactions. Finally, how many of you are UNC, Kansas fans (to test a private theory)?

    Happy Friday.

  6. I’d feign shock and surprise, but it’s too damn early and everybody saw this coming from a light year away.

  7. An underwatched government police bureaucracy with massive amounts of power is abusing it?

    I am shocked! Shocked!

  8. VM, fan of the “U” here. Go ‘Canes! Maybe we’ll have a decent year again this year 🙂

    The only thing that I have to say about the Patriot Act is: Where was it when we needed protection from those pesky mooninites??

  9. Come on, people, I’m sure they did it all for the children.

    I’m sure it’s allright as long as it’s for the children. I mean if just one child was stopped from trying to fly in his superhero costume it was worth it.

  10. Jimmy – Donna Shalala?

    How ’bout protection from her 🙂

  11. Moose,
    I am a big fan of Dean Smith and hence still look favorably on the Tarheels. I didn’t know much about Kansas, (save that Whatever manner of avis a J-Hawk is, he looks formidable) is that they’ve fielded some very fine teams. Now that I’m a Show Me stater, I think I might have to despise them by law.

  12. All crime is a form of terrorism, period, end of discussion. The patriot act is essencial to protecting our freedoms from the iraqi terrorists that hate us for our freedom.

  13. Finally, how many of you are UNC, Kansas fans (to test a private theory)?

    Tarheels fan….Jordan went there….
    although I am still bitter about them beating the Illini in the tourney.

  14. Warren – probably! But you can still like SIU Salukies!

    ChicagoTom – indeed!

    Fred:
    been waitin’ to bust this one out. You get the honor

  15. Thorny!

  16. I agree it’s hardly surprising that the FBI used “national security letters” to go on fishing expeditions. The financial reporting laws are an even greater channel for abuse, since they don’t even have to ask. The infomation is simply delivered to them.

    As for why this matters, I refer you to the increasingly alarming accusations coming out of the mass firing of US Attorneys. The latest is a reminder that New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez got hit with subpoenas in a corruption investigation just two months before the 2006 election. An election in which Republican corruption was a major issue, as it happens. Menendez survived, but the investigation didn’t. After the election the local USA, a Bush “Pioneer” named Chris Christie, mysteriously lost interest in the case.

    This wouldn’t really be news except for the fact that some of the fired prosecutors tell remarkably identical tales of being pressured to open, expedite, or publicize corruption investigations against Democrats in the months leading up to the election. This would seem to be a fairly gross abuse of power that the White House foolishly exposed by engaging in crude retribution against those that had refused to play along.

    The FBI goes on fishing expeditions and USAs are told to look for an excuse to target the opposite party’s politicians…is it so hard to see the two abuses eventually coming together? It doesn’t take very long for excessive zeal in antiterrorism to turn into a substantial threat to the democratic process itself.

  17. Still, how can you accidentally make illegaly violations on the American citizens by asking for personal information that the FBI didn’t even need in the first place?

  18. Yea, they did not connect the dots before 9/11 and they are sure as hell not going to be allowed to start that dot connecting now.

  19. Connecting the Dots, Guy Montag Style.

    1. Investigate rental contracts on office space owned by Democratic Senator.

    2. ???

    3. Catch terrorists.

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