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Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Domestic spying vital to security, Cheney says

January 20, 2006

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— Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday defended the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program, saying it is an essential tool in monitoring al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

But Cheney stressed that the program was limited and conducted in a way that safeguarded civil liberties.

"Our message to the American people is clear and straightforward: These actions are within the president's authority and responsibility under the Constitution and laws, and these actions are vital to our security," Cheney said at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

Four Democrats, in a letter to the vice president, asked that the administration consult with all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees on the program.

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