Remember the warrantless wiretapping program undertaken by the Bush administration?
Remember how we were told it was perfectly legal, and that it was only being used on a limited basis?
Well, apparently the Bush surveillance program wasn’t as limited as the citizenry was led to believe (emphasis mine):
The Bush administration built an unprecedented surveillance operation to pull in mountains of information far beyond the warrantless wiretapping previously acknowledged, a team of federal inspectors general reported Friday, questioning the legal basis for the effort but shielding almost all details on grounds they’re still too secret to reveal.
The report, compiled by five inspectors general, refers to “unprecedented collection activities” by U.S. intelligence agencies under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
As if that’s not bad enough, there’s also reports the massive surveillance program understaken by the Bush administration may not have kept us any safer:
Despite the Bush administration’s insistence that its warrantless eavesdropping program was necessary to protect the country from another terrorist attack, FBI agents, CIA analysts and other officials had difficulty evaluating its effectiveness, according to an unclassified government report made public Friday.
The CIA made no effort to document how the program had contributed to counterterrorism successes, and CIA officials saw it as just “one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools,” the report said.
“Consequently, it is difficult to attribute the success of (any) particular counterterrorism case exclusively to the (program),” it said.
The report, written by inspectors general from the CIA , Pentagon , Justice Department , National Security Agency , and the Office of Director of National Intelligence , also faulted the Bush White House for its secretive handling of the program.
Yeah, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the trampling of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that occurred during the Bush administration was certainly not worth the high price we citizens may have paid by sacrificing our rights to privacy.