Facing angry criticism and challenges to his authority in Congress, President George W. Bush on Saturday unapologetically defended his administration's right to conduct secret post-Sept. 11 spying in the U.S. as "critical to saving American lives."
One Democrat said Bush was acting more like a king than a democratically elected leader.
Bush's willingness to publicly acknowledge some of the government's most classified activities was a stunning development for a president known to dislike disclosure of even the most mundane inner workings of his &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/92/373/16439_azerbaijan.html' target=_blank>White House.
Since October 2001, the super-secret National Security Agency has monitored, without court-approved warrants, the international phone calls and e-mails of people inside the United States.
News of the program comes at a particularly damaging and delicate time.