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Bush’s Wiretaps Now Even More Warrantless

Posted on Jul 13, 2009
Original: Flickr / kiwanja

It turns out George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretap program wasn’t just illegal, it was pretty useless. A new report by the inspectors general of the agencies charged with catching the evildoers determined that many agents were flummoxed by the vague information coming out of the overly secretive program, and those who weren’t couldn’t demonstrate how it was helpful.


At another point, it noted that some FBI agents “criticized the PSP-derived information they received for providing insufficient details, and the agents who managed counterterrorism programs at the FBI field offices the DOJ IG visited said the FBI’s process for disseminating PSP-derived information failed to adequately prioritize the information for investigation.

Meanwhile, CIA officers were unable to make “full use” of the data because too few people had been briefed on the closely held program.

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To be fair there are plenty of former intelligence officials with security clearance a lot higher than ours that insist the program saved lives. Can they prove it? So rude of us to ask. And no.

Then there are gems like this, quoted by CNN from the IGs’ report: “Even though most PSP [President’s Surveillance Program] leads were determined not to have any connection to terrorism, many of the FBI witnesses believed the mere possibility of the leads producing useful information made investigating the leads worthwhile.”

Your tax dollars at work.

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By hippie4ever, July 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

I knew I was being wiretapped when I lived in France. Herr Bush was ascendent and there was a lot of blather about Jesus. I was talking to a friend in California when a “click” sounded and we both heard another’s breathing.

It was such a golden opportunity. I asked about getting blood out of the carpet, the drapes, the sofa…I just droned on about gore everywhere and how it HAD to be a do-it-yourself job. Bob said cold water and enzymes were important and then described various sponging techniques.

We both heard that “click” again and the tap had ended. Our real conversation continued. I guess that makes us both “persons of interest” or worse. I wonder what the wiretapper put into his report?

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By Night-Gaunt, July 13, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

The question I have is who did make good use of it? Someone did and for what purpose?

With the kind of computing power they have with voice recognition to facial pattern analysis, and even behavior algorithms too can be use so they can monitor vast numbers picking out not just words but also phrases they are looking for too. They will concentrate on the high value targets to keep the rest of us in line.

One thing about police states is that their very efficient about violating others rights no matter how faulty their signals intelligence(sic) is.

Right or wrong they are right and you and I are wrong.

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By Rodger Lemonde, July 13, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I recognize all of your words Folktruther but in their present arrangement it is difficult to extract a meaning. Unless of course you were trying to demonstrate the futility of a government attempting to survail every one all the time.
Our freedom and privacy is best protected by our shear numbers. Just as they have problems doing good things for the country, the bad things they do are just as poorly done.

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By Folktruther, July 13, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

this piece is a good example of how a neoliberal police state is being installed in the US to replace America’s classic bourgeois Democracy.  the president of the US initiates a massive program for spying on the American people and the pseudo-progressive media complains that it was not very effective.  They weren’t getting very good data on us with their lawless spying.

Well, then, Obama will have to Reform it by making it more effective, won’t he.  And lawless spying on the American people can complement the lawless imprisonment and the the lawless torture. 

And the whole intelligence apparatus sanitized by pseudo-progressive to neutralize any opposition to a police state to maintain a vaste and growing economic inequality.  instilling an ideology which encourages people to identify with their own oppression and the opprression of other people.

The population must understand that the learned and mass media is on the side of oppressive power, not on the side of the people being oppressed by power.

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