Article updated to fix links.
The Bush administration/government initiated illegal surveillance of innocent Americans long before 9/11 attacks of the World Trade Center. The Bush administration and members of the mainstream media have made strong claims that spying on American citizens is necessary to protect from another terrorist attack. However, the initiation of the illegal warrantless spying of American citizens began at least 6 months prior to the 9/11 attacks, and months before the email warning received by U.S. government officials that Osama Bin Laden was to attack the United States.
The former CEO of Qwest communications, Joseph P. Nacchio, testified under oath that the NSA approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans’ phone records. The Washington Post report on the belated unsealed court records is here. (late edit: Washington Post link is no longer working, so this is a link to Harper magazine’s article citing the Washington Post story) Nacchio also stated that Qwest refused the government’s request due to its “lack of legal standing”, contradicting the claims that telecommunications companies were beholden to act as the NSA and Bush Administration requested.
The Bush administration and large telecommunications companies have bypassed the United States Constitution 4th amendment to spy illegally on innocent Americans in order to gain political and financial control and power, and not as a reaction to a terrorist act – as falsely and repeatedly claimed.