WASHINGTON — After weeks of insisting it would not reveal details of the National Security Agency’s warrantless monitoring of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails, the White House reversed course Wednesday and provided a House committee with highly classified information about the operation.
The White House has been under pressure from lawmakers who wanted more information about the NSA program. Democrats and many Republicans rejected the administration’s contention that they could not be trusted with national-security secrets.
The shift came the same day Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., announced he is drafting legislation that would require the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the NSA’s monitoring program and determine if it is constitutional.
It also came after Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., chairwoman of a House intelligence subcommittee that oversees the NSA, broke with the Bush administration and called for a full review of the program, along with legislative action to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
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