Tuesday, December 27, 2005
  Why Did Bush Wiretap Without Court Approval?
Because The Court Refused to Give Him Approval - So, being King, he did it any way.

"The constitution - don't talk to me about the constitution. It's just a f**king piece of paper."
-- George W. Bush

Here are the facts derived from a story printed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. These people deserve an award. It may well be one of the last real free presses left in the US.

The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps has approved at least 18,740 applications for electronic surveillance or physical searches from five presidential administrations since 1979.

The judges modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications that were approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation. In 20 of the first 21 annual reports on the court's activities up to 1999, the Justice Department told Congress that "no orders were entered (by the FISA court) which modified or denied the requested authority" submitted by the government.

However, since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for court-ordered surveillance by the Bush administration. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004 -- the most recent years for which public records are available.

The judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejections in the court's history.

For the full story, go here to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
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Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.