A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.But gee—didn’t our Attorney General just tell us the other day that it was “very, very important to understand that one party to the communication has to be outside the United States”? Huh.
The officials say the National Security Agency's interception of a small number of communications between people within the United States was apparently accidental, and was caused by technical glitches at the National Security Agency in determining whether a communication was in fact "international."
Talk about a moving target. The administration refused to comment because it could compromise national security. The next day, the president used his weekly radio address to not only confirm its existence, but explain parts of how it worked. It was legal under FISA. It was separate from FISA, but legal under executive privilege. It only applied to communications at least one side of which was outside the country. Well, some wholly in-country communications were monitored, too. But it was an accident!
Credibility level: Zip.