What About the FISA Court?
Excerpt: FISA’s promise to bureaucrats—secret pre-authorization and virtual immunity from criticism—proved impossible to resist. Had FISA existed in 1972, Nixon’s “plumbers” would easily have gotten a warrant to get everything they wanted out of the DNC secretly. Their application need only have cited the McGovern campaign’s plentiful links to North Vietnam and the Communist world. By the 1980s, the intelligence committees were receiving requests to place authorization for FBI infiltration of domestic groups “of national security interest” within the FISA system. After the 9/11 attacks, when the intelligence agencies were trying to expand their authority in order to excuse themselves for failing to use adequately the tools they already had, they found in FISA a convenient cover for not explaining to Congress, or to the public, how new authorities would make the country safer. Quite simply, FISA became the cover for a vast expansion of political surveillance under cover of law. [I didn’t realize FISA went back that far, I thought it originated from 9/11. Good intentions alone hardly ever get us the results we hope for. Ron P.]