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US Senator Says Court Should Oversee Domestic Spy Program


The chairman of the U.S. Senate committee that oversees the nations intelligence operations says President Bush's controversial domestic surveillance program should come under the authority of a special intelligence court.

The view of Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, which he stated in an interview published Saturday in The New York Times, is at odds with the Bush administration. Roberts says the administration's position that such a court is not necessary would find little support among his fellow lawmakers.

Roberts is a strong defender of the surveillance program and agrees with White House efforts to resist a full-scale Senate investigation into the program. Senator Roberts rejects accusations that he caved in to pressure from the administration to try and stop the probe from going forward.

The program allows the National Security Agency to monitor the e-mails and international telephone conversations of people in the U.S. without getting a court's permission.

The administration says it has the authority to conduct the surveillance program under the U.S. Constitution, as well as a congressional resolution passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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