The inevitable abuses

THE INEVITABLE ABUSES…. Try to contain your surprise.

The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.

E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats.

A Justice Department inspector general’s report due out this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed.

Bush administration officials used the cloak of counter-terrorism to abuse civil liberties, ignore the law, and violate Americans’ privacy? Imagine that.

Remind me again, conservatives, about how the public is worried about President Obama increasing the size of government and infringing on the public’s rights.

Post Script: The WaPo article was co-written by John Solomon, up until recently the editor of the far-right Washington Times. He’s listed as a “freelance journalist,” but I have to admit, I didn’t expect to see him be welcomed back into the fold so quickly.