Buried in a front-page story in Thursday's Washington Post are the following two paragraphs:
Shortly after the warrantless eavesdropping program began, then-NSA Director Michael V. Hayden and Ashcroft made clear in private meetings that the president wanted to detect possible terrorist activity before another attack. They also made clear that, in such a broad hunt for suspicious patterns and activities, the government could never meet the FISA court's probable-cause requirement, government officials said.Gee, aren't you glad you didn't swear Gonzales in now, Senator Specter? Absolutely pathetic. The Republicans control the US Senate and the US House, and nothing is going to change until we throw the bums out.
So it confused the FISA court judges when, in their recent public defense of the program, Hayden and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales insisted that NSA analysts do not listen to calls unless they have a reasonable belief that someone with a known link to terrorism is on one end of the call. At a hearing Monday, Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the "reasonable belief" standard is merely the "probable cause" standard by another name.
And PS, the article also says the program is illegal.