Washington Memo: A Safe Vote on Terror

The still new and not always nimble Democratic majority in Congress faced a difficult choice before leaving for the monthlong summer recess: either vote to grant the Bush Administration the expansive new powers it demanded to eavesdrop on both foreigners and Americans without warrants or risk being accused of negligence if terrorists strike on U.S. soil while lawmakers relax at the beach. Weeks of warnings from the intelligence community about increased chatter of the kind that preceded 9/11 only spiked the Democrats' anxiety. "You have to decide what you believe," said a senior House Democrat. "Because if they're telling the truth...

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