6,573. 12/16/2005

After journalists James Risen and Eric Lichtblau exposed the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless surveillance controversy in a New York Times article on December 16, 2005, “President Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the head of the NSA at the beginning of the program, [former NSA Director] General Michael Hayden, and others all defended the program as urgent, successful, justified by acts of Congress and the president’s powers under the Constitution, sharply limited in scope, approved by members of Congress who had been briefed on the program, and carefully managed to protect the civil liberties and other rights of Americans. …’What we’re trying to do is learn of communications, back and forth, from within the United States to overseas members of al-Qaeda,’ said Gonzales. ‘That’s what this program is about. This is not about wiretapping everybody. This is about a very concentrated, very limited program focused on gaining information about our enemy.’ ”

 – Thomas Powers, The Military Error, Pages 89-90

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