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DOJ, DOD watchdogs pass up probes of NSA spying program

[JURIST] US Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine [official profile] has forwarded a request to investigate President Bush’s authorization [JURIST report] of National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping on US residents [JURIST report] to the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, citing a lack of jurisdiction to begin his own inquiry into the controversial program. On Tuesday the Pentagon’s inspector general also declined to open an investigation by forwarding a Democratic party request for an inquiry to his NSA counterpart. Increasing numbers of legal experts from both major political parties have raised questions about the legality of the domestic surveillance program and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) [official website] called for a congressional probe [JURIST report]; the House of Representative and Senate intelligence committees both plan to conduct their own investigations, with the Senate Judiciary Committee having already invited US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to testify in February [JURIST report]. President Bush said Wednesday that he had no objection [AP report] to the congressional probes so long as they did not disclose information to America's enemies. AP has more.

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