Former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean apparently thinks the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was set up by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But Dean is completely off the mark with regard to the FISA Court, which was set up in 1978, during the Carter administration, to oversee surveillance warrant requests against foreign spies inside the United States.
In a tweet responding to President Donald Trump’s accusation that the Obama administration wire-tapped his phones during the election, Dean made this observation via Twitter:
“@realDonaldTrump For those who may not know, a FISA warrant is issued by a court to catch terrorists. Set up after 9/11 by Bush”
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) March 4, 2017
Among the major Democratic presidential contenders in 2004, Dean was the most vociferous against Bush’s Iraq War and domestic legislations enacted as a result of the 9/11 attacks. His campaign, however, folded quickly after a series of gaffes, including the infamous “Dean Scream” following his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
While Dean erred in his timeline of FISA Court’s establishment, the use of the court did spike after 9/11 and the Obama administration’s use of massive surveillance through FISA warrants was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013.
Follow Samuel Chi on Twitter @ThePlayoffGuru.