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Thursday, February 24, 2005 

The White House thinks secretly taping phone conversations is wrong...kinda

Many folks have probably seen or heard about this story in Sunday's New York Times. So yeah, Doug Wead an advisor to then Governor Bush secretly recorded their phone conversations because he thought that Bush was a "historic figure." On the tapes, Bush trash talked John McCain and admitted to smoking marijuana. But no worries, Mr. Wead has seen the err of his ways, is canceling interviews, donating revenues from his book sales to charity and is going to give Bush the tapes. Most recently, Ms. Bush has joined with White House spokesmen to condemn the betrayal of trust. The quote of the day comes from her: "I think it's very odd and awkward, to be perfectly frank, to tape someone while you're talking to them on the phone, and they don't know it, and then come out with the tapes later." Now seems as good a time as any to remind people of the little 1000 page USA PATRIOT ACT.

USA PATRIOT ACT:
Section 216(a)(1): ATTORNEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT- Upon an application made under section 3122(a)(1), the court shall enter an ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of a pen register or trap and trace device anywhere within the United States, if the court finds that the attorney for the Government has certified to the court that the information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. The order, upon service of that order, shall apply to any person or entity providing wire or electronic communication service in the United States whose assistance may facilitate the execution of the order. Whenever such an order is served on any person or entity not specifically named in the order, upon request of such person or entity, the attorney for the Government or law enforcement or investigative officer that is serving the order shall provide written or electronic certification that the order applies to the person or entity being served. [emphasis added]

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