ABC's Pierre Thomas (subscription required) summed up the FBI's three main flaws: according to the "blistering" report by the Inspector General at DoJ, some searches were improper, even illegal; some were on mistaken targets; some invoked an emergency when none existed. Thomas reminded us that last year when the Patriot Act, which authorizes such searches, was debated, the Justice Department offered assurances that "safeguards were in place." The FBI made over 100,000 different searches without warrants in 2004 and 2005, noted CBS' Thalia Assuras, targeting telephone logs, library records and financial transactions. ABC's George Stephanopoulos predicted that the FBI's actions would undercut the Patriot Act itself: "It really could end up changing the law."
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