RUSH: Now, ‘FBI agents searched the home of a former Justice Department lawyer last week in an effort to determine who leaked details of the warrantless eavesdropping program to the news media, Newsweek magazine reported yesterday, citing two anonymous legal sources. The agents, who had obtained a classified search warrant, took Thomas Tamm’s desktop computer, two laptops belonging to his children and some of Tamm’s personal files, Newsweek reported. Tamm left the department last year. He had worked in the department’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review…’ Now, I’m going to call that from here on out the OIPR. That’s what its acronym is, because I don’t want to waste all these syllables over the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review every time I have to talk about it. But he worked there, it was an agency of the justice department, and this is the group, this is little subdivision in there that works with the FISA court and deals with warrants.
‘In December 2005, the New York Times published a story exposing the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. residents without court warrants. The eavesdropping was conducted without public knowledge and without court approval until January, when the program was put under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.’ Alberto Gonzales, the embattled attorney general, said that the leak really hurt our country. Of course, now the administration is going after these leakers, and this guy, Thomas Tamm, appears to be at the top of the list.
Now, we have a little update on this from Clarice Feldman who does great work at the AmericanThinker.com. Thomas Tamm made a contribution to the Democrat National Committee in 2004. He also posts on various blogs out there. There’s a blog comment actually from Thomas Tamm from November 2006 critical of the Bush administration not calling the Iraq war a civil war in sarcastic terms. I’m not going to bother reading you the post, but he basically goes on to say, ‘I guess we’re not going to call it a civil war ’til side’s wearing gray and they’re in the south and one side’s wearing blue and they’re in the north,’ and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now, Clarice Feldman goes back to the 9/11 Commission report, page 95, she says this. ‘But the prosecution of Aldrich Ames for espionage in 1994 revived concerns about the prosecutors’ role in intelligence investigations.’ We’re getting to the wall here that Jamie Gorelick and Janet Reno built during the Clinton administration that prevented intelligence agencies from sharing information because they were going to grand juries with this stuff. I’m reading here from the 9/11 Commission report.
‘The Department of Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR),’ where this Thomas Tamm guy worked, ‘is responsible for reviewing and presenting all FISA applications to the FISA Court. It worried that because of the numerous prior consultations between FBI agents and prosecutors, the judge might rule that the FISA warrants had been misused. If that had happened, Ames might have escaped conviction. Richard Scruggs, the acting head of OIPR, complained to Attorney General Janet Reno about the lack of information-sharing controls. On his own, he began imposing information-sharing procedures for FISA material. The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review became the gatekeeper for the flow of FISA information to criminal prosecutors.’
Clarice Feldman notes that ‘OIPR was the stumbling block in the Moussaoui case. So FISA seemed to be working fine prior to 1994, Gorelick et al decide to tweak it, and now it has become part of the problem. I think I’m starting to understand… and this guy Tamm just happened to be in that shop. I do not know how long Mr. Tamm worked at DoJ but he received an award in 2000, which means he was a holdover from the prior administration.’ So the bottom line is the guy that the justice department is investigating for leaking to the New York Times about the warrantless wiretap program trying to sabotage it is a guy that’s a holdover from the Clinton administration. It’s precisely what we’ve all thought, is it not? These people infesting all these places, CIA, DoJ, Pentagon, you name it. It’s great to see the Bush administration in action on this.