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Congress Set to Take Up Detainee, Spying Issues

With the days dwindling before its August recess, Congress is trying to move forward on two key national-security issues: detainee treatment and government eavesdropping. Hearings are to begin Wednesday in both the House and the Senate on eavesdropping and FISA, the law that normally governs it.

The heads of the CIA and the National Security Agency have been summoned to appear before Congress tomorrow for a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the NSA's domestic surveillance program.

Clearly, Congress is trying to reassert its oversight over counterterrorism programs. Several bills have been introduced, but the past few days have underscored deep divisions about how best to move forward.

In his Senate testimony last week, Attorney General Gonzales made plain that he personally disagrees with the recent Hamdan ruling on al-Qaida detainees, in which the Supreme Court held that the Bush administration violated the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law.

Gonzales also staunchly defended the domestic wiretapping program.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.