Saturday, July 11, 2009

How Effective Were Bush's Wiretaps?

You'll recall that there was a huge controversy over the warrantless wiretapping policy of the Bush administration. Only after it was revealed by the New York Times prompting a public outcry was it abandoned in favor of getting permission from a special closed-door court.

Now comes word via a just-declassified government report that concludes no one bothered to assess the value of the warranties wiretaps. Not the White House. Not the CIA. Not the NSA.

This is sort of like former Vice President Dick Cheney insisting that the enhanced interrogation techniques at Gitmo were effective. We only have his word for it. And the administration's insistence that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

It seems inconceivable to me that - with something so ostensibly important and so controversial that there was no analysis of its effectiveness. But heck, I guess if you know you're right, you don't want to collect data that could possibly prove you wrong. Especially if you're someone in the Bush administration.

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