Is The FBI Lying To Congress About Its Abuses Of The Patriot Act?

from the certainly-sounds-like-it dept

As we go through this brief extension in three of the more controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, which give law enforcement tremendous leeway in spying on people with very little oversight, there have been some hearings about those provisions. At a recent Senate Judiciary Hearing about this, FBI director Robert Mueller was asked if any of the three provisions had been found to be abused. Mueller responded, "I'm not aware of any." However, as the EFF notes, it has clear evidence of the roving wiretap being abused, which it found via some FOIA documents. Tellingly, when it requested info about Patriot Act violations, it received heavily redacted info. However, via a different FOIA request, it received other information that, when combined with the first FOIA request, reveals a clear abuse by the FBI. Separately, the EFF points out that (former) Senator Russ Feingold indicated at a hearing in 2009 that he had seen confidential evidence of abuse:
"I recall during the debate in 2005 that proponents of Section 215 argued that these authorities had never been misused. They cannot make that statement now. They have been misused. I cannot elaborate here. But I recommend that my colleagues seek more information in a classified setting."
On top of that, they point to a 2007 report (pdf) from the Office of the Inspector General at the Justice Dept, which notes two cases of the FBI abusing those 215 orders.

This raises some pretty serious questions. Is Director Mueller simply uninformed about his agency abusing these provisions? Or was he lying to Congress about those abuses? Neither case looks good, and neither suggests that we should renew those provisions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Gyffes, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:01am

    er...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    bosconet (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    More upseting

    ....than everything you pointed out is that even if Director Mueller 'misspoke' or wasn't 'fully informed' there will be no consequences for him or the FBI. The 3 provisions will be rubber stamped for renewal by congress and signed into law by the President.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Gyffes, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    er...

    (bloody comment system...)

    I'm fairly certain the only answer to your headline is:

    CHUH.

    They've been caught lying and cheating on their Patriot record continually -- what's likely to be different now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    If he was uninformed he is incompetent, but if he is lying then he is corrupt, either way he should not be in a management position.

     

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  5.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    But in today's fast paced world lying and being corrupt are prerequisites for a management position.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re:

    It's called "Plausible Deniability".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:44am

    Are they lying??

    Only if their lips are moving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    a-dub (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    For once I would like to see someone man up and take responsibility. Even IF he did not know about it or take any part in it, if it happened under his watch...he needs to admit to it.

     

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  9.  
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    Pixelation, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Looks like they no longer need to pull an Ollie North. "I don't recall Senator".

    I suppose the Senators present didn't want to push Mueller too far because they're worried he may release recordings he has of them.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    DS, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Of course not. Obama fixed all that, remember? You do, don't you? Hope, change, and all of that?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re:

    the problem is with the "Plausible" part of that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Are they lying??

    Not necessarily. If they're typing on a computer, they can be lying without moving their lips.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Jimr (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Is this a trick question?

    Is this a trick question?

    Or is it just a matter of perception or interpretation of the terminology?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re:

    You use LLC's for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    I think we should gie Mueller the benefit of the doubt, maybe he doesn't know what a photocopier is?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Are they lying??

    No, most politician use Skype to pirate the conversation. Using Skype to lie will become a Federal offence with the Death penalty as a minimum punishment for being caught using Skype.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Are they lying??

    Trust me, these guys are moving their mouths while they type...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    As in...I had HOPE and now all of that has CHANGEd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Incompetence is a requirement for high-ranking government positions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Ella, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    abuses

    What they are doing is using the Patriot Act to protect the Satanic power structure. If anyone goes against them, meaning saying they are a victim of Masonic Ritual Abuse, a victim of CIA MK ULTRA mind control and torture with Tesla electromagnetic weapons, a victim of abuse by a priest, then they are targeted.
    The formula is the SAME for ALL of us. It is the Targeted Individual story. We are first hacked, slandered, then gangstalked and harassed, our houses are entered on a daily basis, we are harassed by low flying helicopters and airplanes, our phones are tapped, we are falsely diagnosed with delusional disorder, or worse, paranoid schizophrenia, forced to take medication, in many cases. They sometimes take our children, they kill people around us, they vandalize our vehicles, and many are tortured with voice to skull technology. This is why the Patriot Act was implemented in the first place. There are no terrorists. Freemasons are the terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Apr 5th, 2011 @ 5:16pm

    Cops despise anything that takes away a potential tool that gives them an excuse to ignore what would otherwise be constitutional rights. Whether its needle exchange programs, medical marijuana, raising of speed limits, the ability to spy on folks without the need for warrants etc. I can certainly understand their reasoning since it gives them less options in their toolkit to fight crime. Unfortunately they lose perspective on why they do what they do and it fosters an "us-against-them, if-you've-nothing-to-hide-you-shouldn't-worry" mindset.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    John McCabe, Apr 16th, 2011 @ 5:35am

    Patriot Act Abuse

    Most of the comments offered certainly indicate a problem with the process. However, I think that there is nothing you can do about it. What is, will be!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    theresa, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    fbi lies

    They hide under the patriot act to miss use power over people to soon gain all controll over peoples comeing and goings abuse of power is the reason of this act not aecurity ovet american people but survaliance over american people no freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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