Monday, January 23, 2006
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer - 6 minutes ago
MANHATTAN, Kan. - pushed back Monday at critics of his once-secret domestic spying effort, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program" and contending it has the backing of legal experts, key lawmakers and the Supreme Court.
Several members of Congress from both parties have questioned whether the warrantless snooping is legal. That is because it bypasses a special federal court that, by law, must authorize eavesdropping on Americans and because the president provided limited notification to only a few lawmakers.
"It's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" asked Bush. One of those who had been informed, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was sitting behind Bush during his appearance at Kansas State University.
Democrats countered that many important questions remain.
"We can be strong and operate under the rule of law," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "These are not mutually exclusive principles -- they are the principles upon which our nation was founded."
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com
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