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Sen. Accuses Times of Endangering U.S
Minneapolis Star/AP
December 17, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican senator on Saturday accused The New York Times of endangering American security to sell a book by waiting until the day of the terror-fighting Patriot Act reauthorization to report that the government has eavesdropped on people without court-approved warrants.

"At least two senators that I heard with my own ears cited this as a reason why they decided to vote to not allow a bipartisan majority to reauthorize the Patriot Act," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. "Well, as it turns out the author of this article turned in a book three months ago and the paper, The New York Times, failed to reveal that the urgent story was tied to a book release and its sale by its author."

Cornyn did not name the senators in his remarks on the Senate floor.

A call to The New York Times' Washington bureau was referred to spokeswoman Catherine Mathis, who could not be reached immediately.

Times reporter James Risen, who wrote the story, has a book "State of WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," coming out in the next few weeks, Cornyn said.

"I think it's a crying shame ... that we find that America's safety is endangered by the potential expiration of the Patriot Act in part because a newspaper has seen fit to release on the night before the vote on the floor on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act as part of a marketing campaign for selling a book," Cornyn said.

Since October 2001, the super-secret National Security Agency has, without court-approved warrants, eavesdropped on the international phone calls and e-mails of people inside the United States. President Bush said Saturday that the White House had kept the congressional leadership informed, which a Republican lawmaker confirmed.

But several senators cited the NSA revelation as a reason to uphold a filibuster on the renewal of the expiring portions of the USA Patriot Act - the domestic anti-terrorism law enacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - without getting additional safeguards into the law. Supporters of renewing the law failed to get 60 votes needed to break the filibuster.

Bush on Saturday also attacked the disclosure. "As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk." (PROFILE (COUNTRY:United States; ISOCOUNTRY3:USA; UNTOP:021; APGROUP:NorthAmerica;)

Which is a bigger threat the our security? A president and senator who defend breaking our laws, trampling our constitution and bankrupting our future with tax cuts, or a newspaper that exposes the laws Bush broke? Put simply, Bush has done more harm to this country than all the terrorist attacks combined. It will take generations to undo his debt alone. The next president will have to fire every person hired by Bush. Anyone who calls himself republican, conservative or neo con can't be trusted.