So can anyone really imagine a scenario where a wiretap is needed, but somebody decides that FISA will only get in the way? Hold on, let me rephrase that. Can anyone imagine a legitimate scenario where a wiretap is needed, but FISA will get in the way? For me, it's really hard to imagine such a scenario. So let's make the following logical generalization:
If a wiretap is needed for national security, FISA will not get in the way.Certainly statistical evidence seems to support this. Do the math, 10K warrants in 28 years is basically one warrant per day via FISA. The odds of a warrant being turned down is < 4/10K ~= 0.04%. I don't have more detailed data, but one would guess that such a small number over so many data points is statistically insignificant, i.e. it is statistically equivalent to 0. Thus our logical generalization. So the contrapositive of statement is:
FISA will get in the way if a wiretap is not needed for national security.Now we have a scenario where one would want to avoid FISA. Such a scenario not only implies corruption and abuse of power, but really begs the question of just what information was being sought in these unwarranted wiretaps? In the best case, maybe the government was wiretapping any Muslim who called the middle east. In the worst case, maybe the government was wiretapping people in the press or political adversaries. When there is no oversight, we just don't know and anything is really possible. Sure they can claim that the needs for the wiretaps was legit, but that does not make any sense (see above logical statements.)
That is why this practice must be stopped. It must go to the courts and it must be stopped. Further, the people responsible, and that definitely includes President Bush, must be held accountable. They broke the law and they must be punished for it. For a sitting President, that means impeachment.