White House denies Bush actions contradict earlier remarks



(Buffalo, NY - AP) — The White House denies that President Bush's domestic spying actions contradict a speech he made in Buffalo last year.

In April 2004, Bush had told an upstate audience that — quote — "When you think 'Patriot Act' constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

White House spokesman David Almacy tells the Buffalo News that the president was referring to new powers and responsibilities under the post-9-11 Patriot Act. Domestic eavesdropping under the Patriot Act requires a court order.

Almacy says those taps are different from the intercepts the president authorized the National Security Agency to make without court permission of conversations between American citizens and suspected terrorists overseas.

The New York Times recently reported that the NSA has conducted much broader surveillance of e-mails and phone calls without court orders than the Bush administration has acknowledged.