FISA: Wiretapping Without A Warrant, It Could Be You Next
So much for that "innocent Americans aren't being wiretapped" talking point. A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist was not only wiretapped while doing his job in following-up on some sources, but it resulted in the FBI coming to his house to ask questions about his daughter -- who was away at college at the time and not a party to any calls being made to or from the family home.
Think it couldn't happen to you? Read on:
U.S. intelligence tapped the telephone calls of Lawrence Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, starting in 2002....
As far as I can tell, only Pam Hess of the Associated Press picked up on Wright's confrontation with spy chief Michael McConnell over the phone taps, and no major paper ran it. The version of her story that The Washington Post printed recounted McConnell's telling Wright that water boarding would be "torture" if it were done to him, but dropped the five paragraphs Hess wrote on the eavesdropping. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal skipped Wright's wiretap account altogether.
But The New Yorker's Web site did feature an audio interview with Wright in which he described the visit of FBI agents to his Texas home in 2002 to quiz him about the telephone calls intercepted by U.S. intelligence.
The encounter came, mind you, amid the constant assurances from the Bush administration that the U.S. has not, and is not, "spying on Americans" or running a "warrantless domestic spying program."
"Totally untrue!" McConnell told Wright, insisting that the conversations of American citizens with no connections to terrorists would be immediately discarded. U.S. intelligence is after al Qaeda, McConnell and others have repeatedly pledged, not innocent Americans.
"I'm telling you," the former Air Force general said, "if you're in the United States you have to have a warrant. Authorized by the court. Period!"
But Wright then told McConnell he had a more-than-professional interest in electronic surveillance.
"Let me make a disclosure," he told the spy boss. "I have been monitored."...