Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bush Justice Department opposed changing FISA standard to "Reasonable Suspicion"

In 2002, Sen. DeWine proposed lowering the FISA standard from "Probable Cause" to "Reasonable Suspicion". The Bush Justice Department opposed the proposal after Bush had already authorized the NSA to adopt the new standard.

Glen Greenwald has the scoop:

So as of June, 2002 -- many months after the FISA bypass program was ordered -- the DoJ official who was responsible for overseeing the FISA warrant program was not aware (at least when he submitted this Statement) of any difficulties in obtaining warrants under the FISA "probable cause" standard, and for that reason, the Administration would not even support DeWine's amendment. If - as the Administration is now claiming - they had such significant difficulties obtaining the warrants they wanted for eavesdropping that they had to go outside of FISA, surely Baker - who was in charge of obtaining those warrants - would have been aware of them. And, if the Administration was really having the problems under FISA, they would have supported DeWine's Amendment. But they didn't.

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