Saturday, December 13, 2008

The FBI's History of Wiretapping

Washington Post
One of the more baffling questions to come out of the corruption case involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is why the two-term governor openly talked about "pay-to-play" schemes in the first place. Shouldn't he have known better? Wiretapping phones is a time-honored FBI tradition.

Wiretap court orders spiked during the Reagan and Clinton administrations and government officials, cabinet members and politicians from both parties, along with the occasional gangster or two, have been caught in the process. Wiretaps in criminal cases, so-called Title III wiretaps, jumped 20 percent in 2007 from the year before, with 457 federal and 1751 state taps being approved.

The FBI broke into civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s home and office and installed room bugs in an attempt to find evidence King was associating with communists. They didn't uncover anything but did overhear a "sexual encounter" involving King at a party at the Willard Hotel in Washington and another incident in which King told an "off-color joke" about the recently-assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

A video of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) caught on tape by an undercover FBI agent during the Abscam corruption sting.

More here...

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