Don't miss this fascinating piece of bloggy reporting on the administration's FISA policy for the past few years. In June 2002, Senator Mike Dewine proposed legislation to do exactly what the administration says FISA does not allow them to do, hence their ignoring it. His bill proposed
"to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion ..."
The Bush administration response was that they didn't need the change because the PATRIOT Act was working so well. Money quote:
"This [Patriot Act] modification has allowed us to make full and effective use of FISA's pre-existing emergency provisions to ensure that the government acts swiftly to respond to terrorist threats."
Read the whole thing. The Bush administration has now, I think, tied itself up in knots with its defenses of its own law-breaking. More here.