Barack Obama

Obama Says Secret NSA Spying Program "Transparent"

Was unknown to the public until being leaked earlier this month; leaker may face treason charges

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President Obama is defending National Security Agency surveillance programs, and disputing the notion that he is following in the footsteps of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

In a PBS interview with Charlie Rose, Obama said efforts to track terrorists through phone and Internet surveillance have safeguards to prevent abusing the civil liberties of innocent Americans. Obama cited both congressional and judicial oversight.

When Rose asked, "should this be transparent in some way?" Obama responded: "It is transparent. That's why we set up the FISA court."

Critics note that this court—created through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—issues rulings in secret.