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More controversy result

A report in the Washington Post said that President Bush blocked an internal investigation into the controversial NSA wire tapping program that was being put together by the Office of Professional Responsibility. The OPR launched an investigation into the NSA wire tapping program to see whether or not there were questionable activities. The wire tapping program was launched after 9/11 but Congress and the Bush administration has been arguing over its legality since.

According to the OPR, this type of block is a first in all of American history, and suspicion has mounted in regards to President Bush's decision. "Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels," said OPR chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett in a memorandum. Jarret said that "in all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation."

Some government officials say that Bush's decision to block the investigation is unusual. The OPR is part of the Justice Department. Because of the decision, the OPR was forced to drop the investigation on the NSA tapping program, which many government officials and outsiders previously stated was extremely controversial. The Bush administration allowed the NSA tapping program to conduct its business without first acquiring warrants from the Justice.

Representatives for the Bush administration stated that Bush's decision was based on national security, and that allowing too many people to gain knowledge of the details of the NSA program would pose a threat to that security. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters that "the president decided that protecting the secrecy and security of the program requires that a strict limit be placed on the number of persons granted access to information about the program for non-operational reasons."

The program itself is allowed to be submitted to a secret government court that deals with terrorism and intelligence for review of legality, but President Bush has not yet done so.





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