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US Justice Department to Release Spy Program Documents


The U.S. attorney general says he will release to lawmakers secret documents detailing the government's controversial domestic surveillance program.

Alberto Gonzales made the announcement Wednesday.

The documents are being released to top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will also be available to lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

The documents are currently held by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Gonzales said the Bush administration is working with Congress to provide the information without compromising national security. He said the documents would not be released publicly.

Earlier this month, U.S. lawmakers extensively questioned Gonzales at a Senate hearing, demanding details on the court's oversight of the spy program.

President Bush secretly authorized the domestic surveillance program after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The program allowed the government to secretly monitor phone calls and e-mails between the United States and abroad when individuals with suspected terror links were involved.

The program allowed the monitoring without an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, but Gonzales announced earlier this month that the program would fall under the oversight of the secret court.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Bloomberg.

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