President Bush’s secret decision to allow the government to spy on some Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without court approval shocked many political leaders in Washington, D.C., but peace activists and civil libertarians said the revelation was hardly surprising. . .
“It’s disturbing that the government is bypassing the extremely low threshold of the FISA court to do whatever it wants to spy on Americans,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “FISA almost never turns down any requests to tap phones, and you can retroactively file with FISA, you can file for a warrant after the fact.”