The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations.What, me worry?
“It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration,” said a senior federal official. . .
Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).
The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone company receiving a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divulge to the customer that the records have been given to the government.
The Carpetbagger connects some dots:
Way back in January, NBC's Andrea Mitchell was interviewing New York Times reporter James Risen, discussing Bush's warrantless-search program, which Risen helped expose. Mitchell, mid-way through the interview, asked, "You don't have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?"Shrill, conspiracy mongerers, all of us
It seemed like an odd question, the kind she wouldn't have asked unless she had some reason to believe CNN's Amanpour had been spied on. The story got even more intriguing when the MSNBC website edited the transcript of the Mitchell/Risen interview, removing only the exchange about Amanpour, while leaving the rest of the interview intact.
Once you set aside the law as your guide for action and view the president's will as a source of legitimacy in itself, then everything becomes possible and justifiable.What could possibly go wrong?
Update: Ok, very creepy.