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Attorney General Defends Domestic Surveillance of Suspected Terrorists

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the Bush Administration's use of domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists during a Buffalo appearance Tuesday.

Gonzales was here to announce $900,000 in federal funding to fight human trafficking in the Buffalo area. But he was also pressed on the Terrorist Surveillance Act that the "lame duck" Congress will vote on soon.

The House version of the bill, which was passed in September would allow warrantless surveillance for fixed periods following an "armed attack" or a "terrorist attack," or if the president perceives an "imminent threat of attack." Gonzales says such surveillance is justified.

The bill's prospects in the Senate are uncertain at best. During the height of the campaign last month, Senator Charles Schumer told CBS' "Face the Nation" that his party is now the keeper of the national security issue. Schumer says people at home and abroad recognize the Bush administration policy is "one big mess" and are calling for changes.

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