The IG report on the surveillance programs is spawning several shocking story lines.
) "Not enough relevant officials were aware of the size and depth of an unprecedented surveillance program started under President George W. Bush, let alone signed off on it, a team of federal inspectors general found."
) "The Bush White House pulled in a great quantity of information far beyond the warrantless wiretapping previously acknowledged..."
) "Information gathered by the secret program played a limited role in the FBI's overall counterterrorism efforts, according to the report. Very few CIA analysts even knew about the program and therefore were unable to fully exploit it in their counterterrorism work, the report said."
) "The report also hinted at political pressure in preparing the so-called threat assessments that helped form the legal basis for continuing the classified program.... The initial authorization of the wiretapping program came after a senior C.I.A. official took a threat evaluation, prepared by analysts who knew nothing of the program
, and inserted a paragraph provided by a senior White House official
that spoke of the prospect of future attacks against the United States."
) "The report states that at the same time Mr. Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping operation, he also signed off on other surveillance programs that the government has never publicly acknowledged. While the report does not identify them, current and former officials say that those programs included data mining of e-mail messages of Americans."
) "The report said that Mr. Yoo, of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, gave the White House his first legal opinion endorsing the wiretapping in November 2001, weeks after it had begun
, and that his boss, Jay Bybee, was not even aware of the program’s existence."
) "The report said that Mr. Yoo, of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, gave the White House his first legal opinion endorsing the wiretapping in November 2001, weeks after it had begun, and that his boss, Jay Bybee, was not even aware of the program’s existence."
) "In a White House meeting after deputy A.G. James Comey had voiced concerns about the legality of some aspects of the PSP, Vice President Cheney suggested that the President reauthorize the program without the consent of the Department of Justice. This outraged FBI director Robert Mueller, who told Cheney that he couldn't agree to that. (pp. 22-23). The report details how President Bush re certified the program anyway, leading to resignation threats from senior Justice Department officials."And
, Wash Independent
) We also learned that George Bush himself was the one who ordered Gonzales to John Ashcroft's post surgery bedside looking for a signature of approval after Comey refused. Bush called Ashcroft's room. (Ashcroft's wife refused to let Bush speak with him, and said they should go through the properly empowered Comey. Bush then sent Gonzals to the hospital to try and pry a signature out of the drugged and struggling Ashcroft.)