Washington, D.C. With a government eavesdropping law about to expire, Washington is awash in accusations over who's to blame.
President Bush said Friday that "our country is in more danger of an attack" because of Congress' failure to adopt a Senate bill that would have renewed a law that made it easier for the government to spy on foreign phone calls and e-mails that pass through the United States.
That bill also would have shielded from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government wiretap U.S. computer and phone lines after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks without clearance from a secret court that was established specifically to oversee such activities. In its competing version of the legislation, the House intentionally left out that feature.
Democrats, in turn, accused Bush of fear-mongering and misrepresenting the facts.
The central issue is what the government can and can't do come midnight tonight, when a temporary eavesdropping law adopted by Congress last August expires.