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Just as Progressives Predicted, Massive Abuse Results From Gutting FISA

Pulled from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: It turns out that carving out the institutional safeguards built into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as the Democratic-led Congress cravenly acquiesced to in 2007 under pressure from the Bush administration, results in *massive abuse *in domestic surveillance collection. From The New York Times:

The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

Read the whole thing. Particularly this:

And in one previously undisclosed episode, the N.S.A. tried to wiretap a member of Congress without a warrant, an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The agency believed that the congressman, whose identity could not be determined, was in contact — as part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East in 2005 or 2006 — with an extremist who had possible terrorist ties and was already under surveillance, the official said. The agency then sought to eavesdrop on the congressman’s conversations, the official said.

The official said the plan was ultimately blocked because of concerns from some intelligence officials about using the N.S.A., without court oversight, to spy on a member of Congress.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) visited the Palestinian territories during that time. Daphne, please weigh in.

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