UPI: BUSH BEGAN WIRETAPS AFTER FISA COURT REJECTED REQUESTS
UPI - U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants
for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at
an unprecedented rate. A review of Justice Department reports to
Congress by Hearst newspapers shows the 26-year-old Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush
administration than the four previous presidential administrations
combined. 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.