WASHINGTON - A Senate panel wants to know if the Patriot Act needs to be revised to keep the FBI from illegally or improperly gathering telephone, e-mail and financial records of Americans and foreigners while pursuing terrorists.
“Last year the administration sought new powers in the Patriot Act to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Senate confirmation and to more freely use National Security Letters,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in remarks prepared for Tuesday’s hearing. “The administration got these powers, and they have badly bungled both.
In a review of headquarters files and a sampling of four of the FBI’s 56 field offices, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found 48 violations of law or presidential directives during 2003-2005. He estimates there may be as many as 3,000 violations throughout the FBI that have not been identified or reported.
The head of the FBI says that thousands of potential violations is no reason that they shouldn't be allowed to do it.
Seriously. He actually said that.