Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 12:40am
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Eric Lichtblau & James Risen]
President Bush decided against allowing the National Security Agency to intercept purely domestic phone calls and e-mail messages after the Sept. 11 attacks in part because officials realized such a decision would provoke intense opposition if made public, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified Monday. President Bush was intent on striking "the right balance" between national security and privacy interests, Mr. Gonzales said at the start of Congressional hearings into the N.S.A. program. Noting the criticism the program has drawn since its disclosure in December, Mr. Gonzales said, "the reaction would have been twice as great" if Mr. Bush had expanded it to eavesdrop on communications wholly inside the country. Under the surveillance program, the N.S.A. has been eavesdropping without warrants on the telephone calls and e-mail messages between people inside the United States and people overseas.
* Gonzales Defends NSA Eavesdropping
- Gonzales Suggests Legal Basis for Domestic Eavesdropping
- E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress
- Wiretaps Exceed Limits Set by Congress
- Do You Know What They Know?
- Legislation Seeks to Ease Rules on Domestic Spying
- Bush Would Let Secret Court Sift Wiretap Process
- President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping
- Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants
- A Sudden Taste for the Law
- Bush blocked review of spy program: Gonzales
- Bush denies Spying Infringing on Americans' Privacy
- Wiretap Probe? Senate "No", House "Yes"
- Report Says Gonzales Mishandled Classified Items
- Judge defers decision on US wiretap suit
- Administration Pulls Back on Surveillance Agreement