Bush Denied Wiretaps, Ignored FISA Court
As I read more on the Bush wiretaps, things are making more sense–and looking worse and worse for Bush. My initial impression was that Bush was needlessly ignoring the law as, in the post 9/11 climate, I wouldn’t expect him to have much trouble getting any wire taps he wanted approved by the conservatives appointed to the FISA court.
It looks like I was wrong on this. Hearst newspapers reviewed the Bush administration’s wiretap requests to the FISA court and found that they modified far more requests from the Bush adminstration than from the previous four administrations combined. The court modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications approved over the first 22 years since the court was formed. Since 2001 they modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for surveillance by the Bush administration. The judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during 2003 and 2004. Prior to Bush taking office the court had never outright rejected a request for a wiretap.
It looks like the Bush administration had requests for wiretaps refused or modified, and therefore decided to just ignore the FISA court.