RealNews

Rule Created Legal 'Wall' to Sharing Information

On Tuesday, witnesses and commissioners pondered the role of “the wall” in the Sept. 11 attacks. Attorney General John Ashcroft told the 9/11 commission that “the wall,” a legal barrier in the government preventing intelligence investigators from sharing information with criminal investigators, was the most important structural impediment to preventing the attacks. The wall, which has since been demolished by a special appeals court ruling, was part of a body of law that was little known to the public. It involved secret testimony and decisions by a special federal court that ruled on the requests of government investigators to install wiretaps or other listening devices on people suspected of being involved in espionage. The 1978 law that created the court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, set a lower threshold for counterintelligence agents to obtain permission for secret surveillance of espionage suspects than was required for investigators in criminal cases. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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