February 02, 2006

Crapo: NSA Program Is Vital Tool For Security

Terrorist surveillance is narrowly targeted, appropriately authorized

Washington, DC â?? During a news conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo joined with several other Senators to set the record straight on the terrorist surveillance program authorized by the President. The National Security Agency (NSA) has come under fire for a program of surveillance targeted at al Qaeda and related groups.Crapo said, â??The NSA has been conducting a highly classified program that is an important tool in protecting Americans, but this program has been mischaracterized repeatedly as an assault on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans. This is simply not the caseâ??this program is narrowly focused aimed only at international calls and targeted at suspected terrorists and related groups. This program is consistent with the Constitutionâ??s protections of civil liberties. It is important to remember that such terrorist surveillance requires maximum speed and agility so that appropriate law enforcement can move quickly to protect Americans. All the courts that have decided this issue have concluded that the President has the inherent authority under the Constitution to protect Americans from attack. I look forward to the upcoming Judiciary Committee hearings on this matter and anticipate that the hearings will further educate Americans that their civil liberties are not at risk because of this surveillance.â??