Pentagon Review Faults Bank Record Demands
An internal Pentagon review this year found systemic problems and poor coordination in the military’s efforts to obtain records from American banks and consumer credit agencies in terrorism and espionage investigations, according to Pentagon documents and interviews.
The newly disclosed documents, totaling more than 1,000 pages, provide additional confirmation of the military’s expanding use of what are known as national security letters under powers claimed under the Patriot Act. The documents show that the military has issued at least 270 of the letters since 2005, and about 500 in all since 2001. The documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by two private advocacy groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.