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Why Oversight is Crucial

Yesterday the blogosphere was buzzing over a report from the DOJ's Inspector General documenting abuses, misuses and just plain shoddy paperwork by the FBI with regards to so-called National Security Letters or NSL's. Several bloggers tied this report with a signing statement issued last March that seemed to vitiate oversight provisions appended to the Patriot Act when it was reauthorized and surmised that Bush had in effect "violated the very provisions which the President proclaimed he could violate."

That conclusion is not entirely accurate says mspicata at Daily Kos. According to him/her, the Justice Department did in fact follow the provisions because they covered issuance of the Inspector General's report itself. So really this report can be chalked up as a win for oversight proponents because it shows why it is so desperately needed. But as mspicata also notes, there is still more questions left to be answered.
We have one of two possibilities here. Either Bush is full of it when he appends these signing statements; or, more ominously, he followed the signing statement exactly, and excluded information as he said he would.

If what's reported to us is bad enough, imagine what might not be reported. Don't you think Congress and the media should be asking the Administration what they excluded from the report?