Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fox's Wendell Goler: Secret Wiretapping Program Used 18,000-Plus Times

Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said President Bush’s warrantless spying activies were part of a “very concentrated, very limited program

But during today’s press briefing, Fox News White House correspondent Wendell Goler stated his “understanding” that the program was used “18,000-plus times.” Scott McClellan refused to confirm or deny Goler’s numbers:

GOLER: It’s our understanding this power has been used 18,000-plus times. Are we to presume that there are that many al Qaeda agents in this country?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not going to get into talking about more than what we’ve said publicly. That’s getting into more than what we’ve talked about publicly, so I’m not in a position to confirm or deny the numbers that you threw out there.

If Goler is correct, Bush’s program could hardly be described as “very concentrated” or “very limited.”

UPDATE: As commenter jsp points out, Goler may be conflating the number of times Bush’s program was deployed with the number of authorized FISA warrants, which number approximately 19,000.

Read On

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