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By James Kuhnhenn
San Mercury News
Editor's Note: Given the renewed hoopla over NSA (et al) spying on American Citizens we present this article we initially published in 05–FW
WASHINGTON - President Bush acknowledged Saturday that he ordered the National Security Agency to spy on Americans and he defiantly vowed to continue such domestic electronic eavesdropping ``for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from Al-Qaida and related groups.''
In an unusual step, Bush delivered a live weekly radio address from the White House in which he defended his action as ``fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities.''
Bush's statement came a day before he was scheduled to make a rare Oval Office address to the nation, at 6 p.m. PST today, celebrating the Iraqi elections and describing what his press secretary Saturday called the ``path forward.''
White House aides said Bush appears ready to at least hint at reductions in U.S. troop levels in Iraq.
Bush said the eavesdropping program has been reviewed regularly by the nation's top legal authorities and targets only those people with ``a clear link to these terrorist networks.'' Noting the failures to detect hijackers already in the country before the strikes on New York and Washington, Bush said the NSA's domestic spying since then has helped thwart other attacks.
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