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Dec 20 2013

Chickens Home To Roost

Officials’ defenses of NSA phone program may be unraveling

By Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, Wasington Post

Published: December 19

From the moment the government’s massive database of citizens’ call records was exposed this year, U.S. officials have clung to two main lines of defense: The secret surveillance program was constitutional and critical to keeping the nation safe.

But six months into the controversy triggered by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the viability of those claims is no longer clear.

In a three-day span, those rationales were upended by a federal judge who declared that the program was probably unconstitutional and the release of a report by a White House panel utterly unconvinced that stockpiling such data had played any meaningful role in preventing terrorist attacks.

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Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 pm. ET today prior to a two week vacation in Hawaii.

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