Nacchio’s account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks.
The implications of this need some time to sink in. Bush started the wiretapping before 9/11. Bush took office on January 20, 2001, and by February 27 the NSA was putting the screws on the phone companies to let them listen in on our calls and e-mails. That means the plan was developed during the transition and immediately upon taking office they started implementing it. It was one of the first things they did – setting up a system to collect information about our calls and e-mails. And it had nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
Like I said, the implications of this need some time to sink in.