P-I on FISA

Well I just got egg on my face. I’ve often said “Why do we need the Patriot act when we have FISA courts?” and that FISA courts rarely refuse the government’s demands. Well turns out, the post-intelligencer has found evidence that it is not so much giving out warrants anymore. I do remember ( I’d need to lexis nexis for the old article) that they issued a rebuke of the Clinton Warrants but seems they were also not happy with the current POTUS and his uses of their powers.

But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for court-ordered surveillance by the Bush administration. A total of 173 of those court-ordered “substantive modifications” took place in 2003 and 2004 — the most recent years for which public records are available.
The judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years — the first outright rejection in the court’s history.

But the meat of the Article is here
Faced with that standard, Bamford said, the Bush administration had difficulty obtaining FISA court-approved wiretaps on dozens of people within the United States who were communicating with targeted al-Qaida suspects inside the United States.

Ok… if I were to call Johnny Al-Qaeda on the phone I’d expect some Junior G men would come out and find out some stuff about me. I am just curious how the heck that wasn’t enough to get a FISA warrant if the people were speaking with the suspect and they did some suspect activity ( and in our current climate of laws who doesn’t)
This is interesting and I wonder what other classified information we will get leaked in all of this.

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