Re: Makes sense
"They've got this huge database of information about US persons, what are they supposed to do - not use it, spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on gathering the same information again through other channels...?"
If they can't get a Warrant to use it, then absolutely YES.
"...I wouldn't hesitate. I wouldn't think I was doing anything wrong, either."
That is the problem. They don't think that anything is wrong with it. But if it isn't actually wrong, why to they need to lie about it? It is one thing to search the database without a Warrant, but for a Law Enforcement Agency to actively lie to Judges and Congress, under oath, is a MASSIVE issue.
"Your privacy can be invaded by a team of half a dozen agents and a full dossier created specifically on you..."
That is old news. The issue isn't that this database exists, or that the FBI was given access to it, the issue is that the FBI did so without a Warrant on such a massive scale and outside the scope it their access was intended for. Getting a Warrant is a fairly standard process, and for some Warrants all it takes is a phone call to a Judge. The Judge then decides if they have a good enough reason to pull information from the database, not the FBI investigators. Instead, the FBI treats the database like a phonebook instead of a set of highly privileged information they only have the right to use on a case-by-case basis with Judicial oversight.
Due process is a big thing in the court system. If it comes out that the FBI used this information in prosecutions without a Warrant, and having lied under oath, hundreds of court cases could be thrown out.