US President George W Bush has strongly defended his administration’s policy of eavesdropping on citizens suspected of having links with terror organisations.Speaking during a visit to a hospital treating injured military personnel in Texas, Bush insisted the programme was necessary and vital.
Last month, the New York Times reported on how the National Security Agency had been listening to phone calls without legal permission.The State Department has begun an inquiry into how information about the programme was leaked to the paper. Both Democrat and Republican politicians have questioned whether Bush’s actions have gone beyond the constitutional powers he has quoted.Four senators – including two Republicans – have indicated that congressional hearings are needed to consider the President’s assertion that he had authority to authorise phone tapping without a court order.
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