Sunday, March 18, 2007

CYA at the FBI

It was pretty obvious to top people at both the Justice Department and the FBI something was wrong back in 2004. They warned about investigators breaking the Patriot Act to go after information they weren't entitled to.

So when the FBI bowed to pressure from Justice Department lawyers they might be overstepping their authority, the Bureau sought to cover their butts. The Washington Post reports:
"Under pressure to provide a stronger legal footing, counterterrorism agents last year wrote new letters to phone companies demanding the information the bureau already possessed. At least one senior FBI headquarters official -- whom the bureau declined to name -- signed these 'national security letters' without including the required proof that the letters were linked to FBI counterterrorism or espionage investigations, an FBI official said."
DoJ Inspector General Glenn Fine filed a March 9 report declaring the FBI's use of the letters "circumvented" the law.

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