Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bush briefed Congress a dozen times on eavesdropping

President Bush, in his Saturday radio address, lashed back at critics, especially those in the Congress, of his authorization of NSA eavesdropping. The president has readily admitted to authorizing dozens of wiretapping requests by the NSA to monitor international communications with suspected terrorists in the U.S., many of whom are U.S. citizens. It is unlawful to wiretap U.S. citizens without a court order.
This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security.

This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States.
The president said that the wiretapping was used only to intercept international communications with people inside the U.S. who had "a clear link" to al- Qaida or related terrorist organizations.

The president, appearing angry at the uproar in Congress, said that congressional leaders had been briefed on the program's activities more than a dozen times. Bush pledged to continue to authorize the program.
I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups.
So, take that!

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