Saturday, March 10, 2007

Told ya so

So it turns out that the FBI has been using its new USA PATRIOT Act powers inappropriately. From the NY Times:

The report found many instances when national security letters, which allow the bureau to obtain records from telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks, credit companies and other businesses without a judge’s approval, were improperly, and sometimes illegally, used.

Moreover, record keeping was so slipshod, the report found, that the actual number of national security letters exercised was often understated when the bureau reported on them to Congress, as required.

Oh, if only someone had forseen the possibility of this abuse! If only there were some way to place some sort of check on the powers of the executive, or at least to balance them with the powers of the other branches of government. There just doesn't seem to be any way of doing that, at least not in the minds of the Bush administration. Woe! Woe is us.

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