Congressional report says Bush broke law


    A report by a research arm of Congress on Friday concluded the
    administration’s justification for eavesdropping authorized by
    President George W. Bush conflicts with existing law, the Washington
    Post reported on Saturday.

    The Congressional Research Services
    report, the first nonpartisan findings on the program to date, rejects
    key assertions made by Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
    about the president’s authority to order the eavesdropping into
    telephone calls and e-mails, the paper wrote.

    The 44-page CRS
    report said that Bush likely cannot claim the broad presidential powers
    he has relied upon as authority to order the secret monitoring of phone
    calls made by U.S. citizens since the fall of 2001.

    A 1978 law,
    the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, forbids domestic spying on
    U.S. citizens without the approval of a special court. In the wake of
    the September 11 attacks, Bush secretly authorized the National
    Security Agency to intercept communications without court approval.

    Critics
    of the administration warn that civil liberties could be jeopardized by
    government eavesdropping practices that avoid judicial oversight.

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