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WASHINGTON MEMO They may be dreaming of control over Congress and the White House in 2009, but Democrats on the Hill first have to deal with a recurring nightmare: a seemingly unwinnable political battle pitting civil liberties against national security.

At issue this time is the telecommunications industry. Several leading telecom companies have allegedly participated in President Bush's no-warrant eavesdropping on Americans since 9/11. In late January, the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary chairmen wrestled over whether the firms should get immunity from prosecution for whatever role they played. It's a fight that could get uglier soon if the House and Senate...

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