Surprise! The FBI is abusing controversial “National Security Letters,” underreporting their use by at least 20-percent.
The FBI repeatedly failed to follow the strict guidelines of the Patriot Act when its agents took advantage of a new provision allowing the FBI to obtain phone and financial records without a court order, according to a report to be made public Friday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General.
The report, in classified and unclassified versions, remains closely held, but Washington officials who have seen it tell ABC News it documents “numerous lapses” and describe it as “scathing” and “not a pretty picture for the FBI.”
[…] Civil liberties groups have long opposed the provision, saying the lack of oversight could lead to the kinds of problems apparently uncovered by the inspector general.
[…] “Expect a weekend firestorm,” said one Justice Department official.
See, this is why we have a Constitution. And this is why the Bush administration is so eager to undermine it.