Saturday, June 24, 2006

NYT editorial highlight problems with latest Bushovik illegal spying

In the heightened state of emergency after 9/11, the government began examining the Swift records with the help of general administrative subpoenas, which are basically permission from one part of the executive branch to another. Now it is nearly five years later, and nothing has changed. Investigators have examined the international money transfers of thousands of Americans, apparently without ever trying to get a court order or warrant to do the searches. And Congress, as usual, has never exercised any oversight....

.....One danger of a never-ending government investigation into people's financial transactions is mission creep. A Treasury Department spokesman told The Times that the information mined from Swift — which includes millions of records — cannot be used for anything except terrorism searches. But there is little to guarantee that will continue to be the case.
How difficult is it to imagine information helpful to Halliburton being diverted from the VP's office to the boardroom? Most of the information and the people handling it would not get into this kind of scenario, but it only takes one or two bad apples to cause serious damage. And with the foxes guarding the henhouse, how long will it be before this happens? Only time will tell.


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