2,871. 10/4/2001

“[T]he White House had launched a highly secret domestic intelligence program on October 4, 2001, with little significant congressional involvement. As the Bush administration ended, the precise parameters of what became known as ‘the Terrorist Surveillance Program’ remained secret. In congressional hearings over broadening the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the Bush administration explained in 2007 that this program was deemed necessary to monitor telephone calls where at least one of the participants was overseas. The presidential authorization swept away the requirement that law enforcement and intelligence agencies needed to seek a warrant from the FISA Court, which had handled these kinds of requests for domestic surveillance since 1978. There are other reports that the program also included cooperation with private telecommunications companies to acquire access to their digital switches and databases. Set up secretly, the ‘program’ was apparently briefed to some members of Congress in 2002.”

 – Julian E. Zelizer, ed., The Presidency of George W. Bush, Page 69

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