In 2009, DOJ Claimed Its Lawyers Could Not Read Docket Numbers in 2007

Some time ago, I noted that DOJ appears not to have provided the classified report on Section 215 for the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees mandated by the 2006 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization to Congress in 2009 to 2011. Instead of being sent to the Chairs of the Committees, the reports for those years were simply “filed.”

DOJ continued to provide Congress the unclassified FISA report, which included much of the same information about the numbers of Section 215 orders approved and modified.

But those reports would not have included two critical details: the fact that the sharply increasing number of modifications pertained to the FISC’s imposition of minimization procedures, suggesting collection in some bulk.

And the number of sensitive Section 215 orders issued under the following categories.

(A) Library circulation records, library patron lists, book sales records, or book customer lists.

(B) Firearms sales records.

(C) Tax return records.

(D) Educational records.

(E) Medical records containing information that would identify a person.

So for the years 2008 to 2010, even two of four designated oversight committees did not learn these details (the Intelligence Committees are required to get details on every request, but who knows if that requirement was met?).

In that post, I also noted a problem with 2007’s numbers, as well, a problem DOJ readily admitted in the unclassified report issued in 2009 (supposedly covering 2008).

In its 2008 report, the Department reported to Congress that during Calendar year 2007, the Govermnent made-six applications to the FISC for access to certain business records (including the production of tangible things) for foreign intelligence purposes. Further review of the Government’s records subsequently revealed that the Government had made seventeen applications to the FISC for access to certain business records. The FISC did not deny, in whole or in part, any such application filed by the Government during calendar year 2007.

“Further review revealed.”


I’m just now realizing how utterly unbelievable this is.

You see, the way the docket works, each new request has its own docket number, so to count the requests you need only count the dockets.

The last docket in the phone dragnet is BR 07-16, issued October 18, 2007 (meaning there was just one more business record docket that year). There is no conceivable way DOJ could not very simply have come up with the correct number for both reports to Congress by looking at the final docket number, which should have been 17. Which means Congress may never have gotten the proper classified detail on those additional 11 requests.

DOJ hid — purposely, necessarily, based on the way the dockets work — the details on sensitive requests to Congress in 2007. Then they appear to have hid the sensitive requests for the following three years. Given that John Bates is copied on the first request thereafter, it appears he may have made them finally fulfill the letter of the law.

They clearly were hiding something about their other Section 215 requests, for four full years.

2 replies
  1. chronicle says:

    First off Marci… either you are a genius or you have a networked ensemble of thousands of other like minded ..I don’t even have a word.. say…dedicated National Security “enthusiasts” or something, to catalog, tag and organize your insights and evidence. All I know is you are simply amazing. If I were a betting man, I’d wager a years income that the PTB are watching you as if their very future depends on it. After all, from what I’ve seen, especially this post, YOU are the only human being on the planet that is step by step, entering into the worldwide net, the evidence of the craven attempt by the most powerful entity on earth, to hide the most terrifying acts of tyranny ever perpetrated on this planet. To me…YOU shame the entire judicial system in the United States, and I thank you for your dedication to exposing the truth to the entire world.

    Second..there is none. Your post says it all. Holy mother of pinning down these lying scumbags. Your reward will come. As far as I’m concerned..the devil is in the details and YOU are the master of detailing. I only wish I could contribute in some form to help. Unfortunately, I am not. I am only a receiver of your insights. However, I want you to know your work helps me understand the reality of what is taking place before my very eyes. In closing, in my very limited stature on this planet, I will offer to nominate you to the Pulitzer. In a very real sense.. you deserve it.

  2. chronicle says:

    quote”They clearly were hiding something about their other Section 215 requests, for four full years.”unquote

    Four full years. whudda thunk. And just “what” were they hiding or “why” they did so?

    C’maaaan. We KNOW exactly what they were doing. In simple terms.. the ruling class in no uncertain terms..told them to do it. In fact..if they DON’T do it..the whole “national security” apparatus will fall apart. And we all know..that ain’t EVER going to happen. To secure your understanding of the trajectory of what is happening before your very only need read the Central Intelligence Act of 1947. If that doesn’t clue you to the power of Legal Imperialism ..nothing will. Folks…. they forged the future of the ruling class in step by step fashion, starting in 1913.

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