Friday, March 09, 2007

If They Can Abuse, They Will

U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, March 8 — The Justice Department’s inspector general has prepared a scathing report criticizing how the F.B.I. uses a form of administrative subpoena to obtain thousands of telephone, business and financial records without prior judicial approval.

The report, expected to be issued on Friday, says that the bureau lacks sufficient controls to make sure the subpoenas, which do not require a judge’s prior approval, are properly issued and that it does not follow even some of the rules it does have.

Under the USA Patriot Act, the bureau each year has issued more than 20,000 of the national security letters, as the demands for information are known. The report is said to conclude that the program lacks effective management, monitoring and reporting procedures, officials who have been briefed on its contents said.
For the same reason corporations can't be trusted to "do the right thing" when it comes to their customers, and why manufacturers can't be trusted not to pollute, the government cannot be trusted to uphold the Constitution without being closely watched by impartial or even adversarial parties. The Constitution was put in place to protect the citizenry from its own government, and all this nonsense about requiring no judicial oversight or approval for ANYTHING the government might do in the name of security is utterly absurd. We are coming within a hair's breadth of a police state, something the terrorists wanted to happen, and we are falling right into their sociological trap.
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