A reader at Powerline blog did a good summation of the just released FISA application for the warrant on Carter Page. In a nutshell, this is what happened.
Before I end tonight, I am going to do a shorthand, but close analogy. Let assume we are accusing John Doe of being a pedophile to get a search/surveillance warrant. Here is what that warrant would look like if it were modeled on the Carter Page warrant:
Source 1 goes to the FBI and tells them that he has a source who heard someone say that John Doe had sex with a 6 year old. When asked, Source 1 doesn’t want to name his source. The FBI does an initial investigation to establish Source 1’s credibility and discovers that he was hired by a man John Doe is already involved with in a legal dispute on a completely different matter. After that, there is nothing else the FBI could find in the preliminary investigation about John Doe- it is all just the rumor reported by Source 1. So, the FBI decides to move ahead to get a warrant that asserts John Doe is probably a pedophile. They then spend 60 pages describing how pedophiles operate, and they describe the methods the FBI uses to combat this scourge, and the methods they hope to use on John Doe. They then tell the court that Source 1 told them that someone else said John Doe was a pedophile. They then cite a bunch of news stories about other people who talked about pedophiles and who might be pedophiles, or had opinions about pedophiles- none of which are connected to John Doe directly- just people John Doe might or might not know personally. In addition, they know that John Doe helped break up a pedophile ring for the FBI in the past by serving as a confidential informant.
That is the Carter Page Warrant right there- the exact same level of corroboration and nothing more. You tell me- is that appropriate and legal?