Monday, March 20, 2006

It's that Intel court!

Testimony today at Moussaoui's trial show that the upper level agents were afraid of going to the court. They had been burned before.

"Mr. Samit said that two senior agents declined to provide help in getting a search warrant, either through a special panel of judges that considers applications for foreign intelligence cases or through a normal application to any federal court for a criminal investigation.

As a field agent in Minnesota, he said he required help and approval from headquarters to continue his investigation. He acknowledged that he had written that Michael Maltbie, an agent in the F.B.I.'s radical fundamentalist unit, told him that applications for the special intelligence court warrants had proved troublesome for the bureau and seeking one "was just the kind of thing that would get F.B.I. agents in trouble." He wrote that Mr. Maltbie had told him that "he was not about to let that happen to him." During that period, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, had complained about improper applications from the bureau.

Mr. Samit also acknowledged that he had written that David Frasca, a supervisor of the radical fundamentalist unit, had similarly blocked him from seeking a search warrant under the more common route in a criminal investigation. Some of the special court's complaints dealt with the idea that law-enforcement officials were sometimes using the lower standard required for warrants in intelligence investigations and then using the information they obtained in criminal cases." Rest here


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