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Cheney defends government review of US domestic financial records

[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] Sunday defended the Pentagon and CIA's review of banking and credit records [JURIST report] of hundreds of American citizens suspected of ties to terror groups, calling it a "perfectly legitimate activity" in an interview [transcript] with Fox News Sunday. Cheney said the authority of the US Department of Defense [official website] to review such records "goes back three or four decades" and was reaffirmed by the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive]. He also noted that institutions which receive national security letters ordering the release of personal records with no accompanying judicial approval are "free to go to court to try to stop [their] execution."

Meanwhile, US Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) [official website] released a statement Sunday promising a thorough investigation into the government's use of individuals' banking and credit records. As the new chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee [official website], Reyes said a panel will determine whether the current practices are in full compliance with the US Constitution and the law. AP has more.

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