NSA and Bush administration officials were urged repeatedly by members of the joint inquiry [by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees] and by the Sept. 11 commission to recommend FISA reforms that they felt were needed, said Eleanor Hill, staff director of the joint inquiry and former inspector general for the Pentagon.
She also said congressional committees held hearings on whether FISA needed an overhaul to better track international terrorism communications.
“The question was always asked of these witnesses: ‘What do you need?’ … There was plenty of time to raise this issue,” Hill said Tuesday. “You don’t just take it upon yourself to circumvent FISA. That attitude ignores the absolutely critical need for oversight.”