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Spies and phone sex
What government eavesdroppers heard when soldiers and journalists phoned home from Iraq
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resident Bush's "obsession with eavesdropping on citizens" just went from bad to "cheesy," said The New York Times in an editorial. ABC News reports that military agents listened in on phone calls home from American soldiers, aid workers, and journalists in Iraq. The listeners were supposedly searching for terrorism leads, but the "illicit snooping degenerated into a form of amusement, with analysts swapping transcriptions of pillow talk" and phone sex.

"Radical leftists and extreme libertarians will try to make the most of the story," said the Augusta, Ga., Chronicle in an editorial, as the "exaggerated tale" is the perfect thing to fuel criticism of the Republican Bush administration before next month's election. But the truth behind "the hyperventilating headlines" is that the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on calls from the Mideast involving people suspected of terrorist ties was perfectly legal.

The expanded surveillance powers that came with the Patriot Act were supposed to make Americans safer, said the Hutchinson, Kan., News in an editorial. Instead, the Bush administration is acting like it has the right to spy on everyone at will—whether they're terrorist suspects or soldiers risking their lives for their country. "Americans—regardless of their positions on the war in Iraq—ought to be outraged at such abuse of power."

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