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Bush Acknowledges Approving Eavesdropping

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051217/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush;_ylt=As706lC1wbjOH1Dpxua38n2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ-- Bush Acknowledges Approving
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2005
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      Bush Acknowledges Approving Eavesdropping

      By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes

      WASHINGTON - President Bush said Saturday he
      personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping
      program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept.
      11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in
      publicly revealing the program.

      "This is a highly classified program that is crucial
      to our national security," he said in a radio address
      delivered live from the White House's Roosevelt Room.

      "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," Bush said.

      Angry members of Congress have demanded an explanation
      of the program, first revealed in Friday's New York
      Times and whether the monitoring by the National
      Security Agency violates civil liberties.

      Defending the program, Bush said in his address that
      it is used only to intercept the international
      communications of people inside the United States who
      have been determined to have "a clear link" to
      al-Qaida or related terrorist organizations.

      He said the program is reviewed every 45 days, using
      fresh threat assessments, legal reviews by the Justice
      Department, White House counsel and others, and
      information from previous activities under the

      Without identifying specific lawmakers, Bush said
      congressional leaders have been briefed more than a
      dozen times on the program's activities.

      The president also said the intelligence officials
      involved in the monitoring receive extensive training
      to make sure civil liberties are not violated.

      Appearing angry at times during his eight-minute
      address, Bush left no doubt that he will continue
      authorizing the program.

      "I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a
      continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups,"
      he said.
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