The Military Quietly Gathers Domestic Financial Records
Government agencies use national security letters to snoop through financial records without the bother of a judicially issued warrant. The NY Times reports that the FBI "has issued thousands of national security letters" since 9/11, distressing news that TalkLeft discussed here.
But it was not previously known, even to some senior counterterrorism officials, that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have been using their own “noncompulsory” versions of the letters. Congress has rejected several attempts by the two agencies since 2001 for authority to issue mandatory letters, in part because of concerns about the dangers of expanding their role in domestic spying.
While assuring us that it only investigates terrorism, the Pentagon won't say why it pokes around in domestic financial records. This statement is nonetheless telling:
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