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Powell backs US government eavesdropping to prevent terrorism

[JURIST] Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell [BBC profile] has defended the Bush administration's eavesdropping [JURIST report; JURIST news archive] on phone and e-mail communications to prevent terrorism. Though Powell conceded in an interview [transcript] with ABC's This Week that a major controversy over presidential powers could easily have been avoided through court warrants, he said he saw "absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions." Powell said Congress will have to decide whether Bush is correct in his assertion that he could approve eavesdropping without prior court orders. Powell also said he was not aware of the operations while serving in the Cabinet. AP has more.

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