July 10, 2009

“I’m Shocked! Shocked!” [4:15 pm]

Report Says Wiretaps Got Too Little Legal Review (pdf)

The warrantless surveillance program approved by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks received too little legal review at its inception and its ultimate effectiveness was unclear, according to an in-depth review released Friday by the inspectors general of five federal agencies.

[...] The wiretapping program was first disclosed by The New York Times in December 2005, 13 months after the White House urged the newspaper not to publish the article because it said the disclosure would harm national security.

The disclosure set off a furious debate that continued through the end of the Bush administration on presidential power in a time of war, the separation of powers, federal wiretapping powers, and state secrets.

[...] Since Mr. Obama took office, his administration has used many of the same legal tactics as the Bush administration, including the assertion of a “state privelege” claim, to try to quash legal challenges to the program in federal court.

The NYTimes offers a link to the document; I can’t get an original link from the ODNI yet.

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