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Call Hillary Clinton's Bluff on NSA's al Qaeda Surveillance Program

2:49 PM, Jan 25, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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Senator Clinton, who not long ago claimed she was duped into voting for the Iraq War resolution, is now opposed to the NSA operation. She says monitoring al Qaeda communications should be done in a "lawful way," but doesn't know if the current spy program broke any laws. I'm sure General Michael Hayden will be gratified with the New York senator's judiciousness. Sen. Clinton also believes the president's legal justification of the program -- that it's "rooted in the Constitution inherently" -- is "kind of strange because we have FISA and FISA operated very effectively and it wasn't that hard to get their permission." Fine (Though, the senator should review her own administration's position on "inherent" powers). If Sen. Clinton believes the NSA program as currently structured isn't necessary and others say it's unconstitutional, she and her House colleagues should seek to cut off congressional funding for it. Sen. Clinton won't want to do that, of course, which is why Republicans may want to force the issue.