X

Wiretap Program Had 'Limited' Value: Fed Report

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 8:15 AM CDT
Wiretap Program Had 'Limited' Value: Fed Report
President Bush, flanked by CIA Director Michael Hayden, right, and Deputy CIA Director Stephen Kappes, makes a statement after participating in a briefing on terrorism last year.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – The Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program wasn't such a great anti-terror tool after all, says a new federal report. The wiretaps—on the international communication of Americans—"generally played a limited role" in counterterrorism efforts, despite the assertions of President Bush, Dick Cheney, and other top officials that they were essential, the New York Times reports.

story continues below

Intelligence officials “had difficulty citing specific instances" when they actually helped. The report, compiled by five federal inspectors-general, also suggests the Bush administration used "scary memos" to pressure the NSA to keep the program running. One of the problems with the controversial program is that it was too secret, the report says. So few CIA staffers knew about it, for instance, that any leads it produced were "vague or without context."
(Read more FBI stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X