Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) told Rumsfeld during a public hearing in 2003 that the Total Information Awareness program "not only raises serious privacy concerns [but] might also be illegal and possibly unconstitutional."
"Suspicionless Surveillance" was developed by the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness department, led by Adm. John Poindexter, the former national security adviser, who secretly sold weapons to Middle Eastern terrorists in the 1980s during the Iran-Contra affair and was convicted of a felony for lying to Congress and destroying evidence. The convictions were later overturned on appeal.
Report Critical of NSA Program
The unclassified report prepared by inspectors general of five federal agencies said George W. Bush justified his warrantless wiretapping by relying on Justice Department attorney John Yoo's theories of unlimited presidential wartime powers, and started the spying operation even before Yoo issued a formal opinion, a government investigation discovered.
Essentially, President Bush took it upon himself to ignore the clear requirement of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that all domestic intelligence-related electronic spying must have a warrant from a secret federal court, not just presidential approval. Illegal wiretapping is a felony under federal law. ::MORE HERE::