With the stroke of a pen in 2002 President Bush effectively gutted the Fourth Amendment so his cronies at the NSA could listen in on your phone conversations. Tuesday the investigation into the agency's illegal warrantless wiretapping was shut down - by the NSA.
Wednesday, H. Marshall Jarrett, of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, notified Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York that his staff was ending its investigation into the NSA, because the very same agency refused to grant them security clearance.
"We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program," Jarrett wrote in a fax.
Jarrett says that beginning in January he and his staff made repeated requests for clearance. On Tuesday they were denied.
"Without these clearances, we cannot investigate this matter and therefore have closed our investigation," Jarrett wrote.
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse maintained the administration's "trust us" stance, insisting the wiretap program "has been subject to extensive oversight both in the executive branch and in Congress from the time of its inception."
The program has been under the watchful eye of Gen. Michael Hayden, Bush's nominee to take over the CIA.
Hayden yesterday told Senator Dick Durbin that he may be open to hearings that would change the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act laws that the wiretaps were designed to break.
"With all the publicity that has surrounded this program, we may be closer to the possibility of asking for a change in FISA. "He didn't say he would," Durbin said.
Now that everybody knows Hayden and his boss are criminals, they're open to changing the laws they've been breaking?