Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bush and the FISA Court

It appears that Bush's decision to bypass the court is based not so much on the inconvenience, but on the probability that his request will be modified or rejected by the court. Brad DeLong quotes the UPI story:
U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate.

The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation.

But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for surveillance by the Bush administration, the report said. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004. And, the judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court's history.

Is there any possible way to justify this?

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