A little over two years ago, Alberto Gonzales made a trip to Capitol Hill as Congress as he lobbied for renewal of the U.S. Patriot Act.
During that time, Gonzales (the nation's top law man, no less), assured Senators that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had NOT abused its newfound powers under the Patriot Act. He said then "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse."
As they say on Capitol Hill, Mr. Gonzales might want to revise his previous remarks.
It turns out that dear old Alberto wasn't exactly being truthful when he made that statement. I'm just shocked, I tell you!
According to the Washington Post, in the three months PRIOR to his testimony, Gonzales received at least a half dozen reports of legal or procedural violations.
From the Post:
As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers. "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse," Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.
Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The acts recounted in the FBI reports included unauthorized surveillance, an illegal property search and a case in which an Internet firm improperly turned over a compact disc with data that the FBI was not entitled to collect, the documents show. Gonzales was copied on each report that said administrative rules or laws protecting civil liberties and privacy had been violated.
The reports also alerted Gonzales in 2005 to problems with the FBI's use of an anti-terrorism tool known as national security letters (NSLs), well before the Justice Department's inspector general brought widespread abuse of the letters in 2004 and 2005 to light in a stinging report this past March.
More at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19685278/