Monday, May 20, 2002

Can anyone explain the following paragraph from this newsweek article:


NEWSWEEK has learned there was
one other major complication as America
headed into that threat-spiked summer. In
Washington, Royce Lamberth, chief judge
of the special federal court that reviews
national-security wiretaps, erupted in anger
when he found that an FBI official was
misrepresenting petitions for taps on terror
suspects. Lamberth prodded Ashcroft to
launch an investigation, which reverberated
throughout the bureau. From the summer
of 2000 on into the following year, sources
said, the FBI was forced to shut down
wiretaps of Qaeda-related suspects
connected to the 1998 African embassy
bombing investigation.
“It was a major
problem,” said one source familiar with the
case, who estimated that 10 to 20 Qaeda
wiretaps had to be shut down, as well as
wiretaps into a separate New York
investigation of Hamas. The effect was to
stymie terror surveillance at exactly the
moment it was needed most: requests from
both Phoenix and Minneapolis for wiretaps
were turned down.

When did Ashcroft become Attorney General?