Let’s call a spade a spade. We now have a “Secret Police.”

The Blotter — This just gets better and better. What amazes me is how the public and the Bush-apologists just have no complaints. I guess nobody is seeing the potential for all sorts of blackmailing schemes here. Exactly why the big media hasn’t gone ballistic over this is amazing to me.

The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations.

“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.

The acknowledgement followed our blotter item that ABC News reporters had been warned by a federal source that the government knew who we were calling.

The official said our blotter item was wrong to suggest that ABC News phone calls were being “tracked.”

“Think of it more as backtracking,” said a senior federal official.

  1. Douglas A Griffiths says:

    I can’t believe how ignorant most of these comments are. People just seem to want to believe the worst about anyone who works in our Federal Government. Don’t let the facts get in your way. The phone records in question are not recordings of your phone calls and nobody has the legal right to do that except by court order or unless the calls involve known out of country calls to suspected terrorists. The telephone records involved are phone numbers called/received only. If they help Homeland Security to locate associates of terror suspects then that is fine by me and by most adult American (according to polls, not petty rumours). To say we now have a secret police force (showing a picture of the 1930’s – 1952 era Soviet Berria) is pure stupid. There are many good folks out there trying their best to protect the US and I appreciate them.

  2. moss says:

    Douglas — ignorant? The basic federal law governing telecommunications has been on the books for 72 years. It served as foundation for the refusal of a couple of firms to cooperate with the government’s fishing expedition. It has served as the basis for several successful class action suits against the so-called Justic Dept. over the years. It has never been amended to allow what you don’t give a damn about.

    There are sound reasons for that. All having to do with the Bill of Rights. Something else you evidently don’t give a damn about.

    The fact that polls show Americns don’t “approve” of the Bill of Rights is nothing new. Neither did the Weimar Republic.

  3. James says:

    Douglas, did you not read the article? Let me quote it for you.

    “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.

    Now… the problem here is, the requirements for collecting phone records/etc are going away. They can almost make up any reason to tap anyones phone and have it be legit thanks to the Bush administration. They don’t even need a judge to agree anymore. They just decide they need something and they have the right to get it.

    “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.”

  4. Gary Marks says:

    #32, OK Joshua, since you’re insisting that anyone who criticizes a surveillance program as too intrusive on our privacy must submit an alternative, here goes…

    Tighten up port security, and leave my phone traffic alone.

    Get back to me after the shipping ports are truly secure.

    P.S. I didn’t mean to be harsh, calling you a security whore.
    Let’s make it security “escort”… wink, wink, nudge, nudge

  5. joshua says:

    # 36…Gary….I’ll accept that…escorts make much better money(or so I’m told) 🙂


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