Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

FBI phone records scandal grows

It seems the FBI had severe problems with its requests for phone company records. From The Washington Post:
In each letter, the FBI asserted that "due to exigent circumstances, it is requested that records for the attached list of telephone numbers be provided." The bureau promised in most of the letters that subpoenas for the same information "have been submitted to the U.S. Attorney's office who will process and serve them formally."

But the inspector general's probe concluded that many of the letters were "not sent in exigent circumstances" and that "there sometimes were no open or pending national security investigations tied to the request," contrary to what U.S. law requires. No subpoenas had actually been requested before the letters were sent. The phone companies nonetheless promptly turned over the information, in anticipation of getting a more legally viable document later, FBI officials said.

The use of such letters was virtually "uncontrolled," said an FBI official who was briefed on the issue in early 2005. By that fall, CAU agents had begun creating spreadsheets to track phone records they had collected for a year or more that were not covered by the appropriate documents, according to FBI e-mails and interviews with officials.
Gonzales needs to resign. Now.

Too bad the Justice Department isn't headquarted in King County, 'cause then Tom McCabe could demand an investigation. Sadly, a search of Google Maps reveals that there is no Integrity listed at any address in Rightieville.

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