Gonzales Takes Fire on Domestic Eavesdropping

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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, less than 24 hours after he announced that the Bush administration's controversial warrant-less domestic surveillance program would be monitored by an independent court.

The new Democratic committee chairman, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, opened the morning with a stark indictment of the Justice Department and the Bush administration.

"In the 32 years since I first came to the Senate, during the era of Watergate and Vietnam," Leahy said, "I have never seen a time when our constitution and fundamental rights as Americans were more threatened by their own government."

Senators challenged Gonzales on the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping program, demanding more information on the eavesdropping and the orders of a secret court which gave its okay for the activity.

Gonzales declined to discuss operational details.



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