Former US president George Bush has lied to FBI Director Robert Mueller to protect White house programs that spied on the American citizens, a new book reveals.
US Ex-President George W Bush (L) talks to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
In his book, Enemies,
former New York Times
reporter, Tim Weiner reveals the extent of the FBI long-war against terrorists, spies and anyone considered as subversive, including American presidents.
After the 9/11 attacks in its so called war on terror, the Bush anti-terror program included warrant less eavesdropping of the phones and emails of the Americans, which is now known by its code name "Stellar Wind."
However, FBI director Mueller, who felt the White house was "trying to do an end run" around the law, was opposed to the program.
In March 2004, US Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft ruled that the program was illegal.
The day after the Justice Department ruling, Ashcroft became critically ill. President Bush sent White House counselor Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card Jr. to Ashcroft's hospital bed, requesting him to sign a document reversing the ruling.
While Ashcroft was incapable of signing the document, Bush reauthorized the operation, over formal Justice Department objections.
Mueller met with Bush privately on March 12, 2004, telling him that "he would resign if the FBI was ordered to continue warrantless searches on Americans without an order from the Department of Justice."
"The president pleaded ignorance of the law and the facts. He said he hadn't known there had been legal problems with Stellar Wind. He said he hadn't known Ashcroft had been in the hospital. He said he hadn't known Mueller and Comey had been blowing the whistle. He was almost surely deceiving the director, and deliberately," Weiner writes.
"Bush promised to put the programs on a legal footing. This did not happen overnight. It took years. But based on the president's promise, Mueller and his allies backed down from their threats to resign. Bush kept the secret for twenty more months," he added.