NSA surveillance exposes political party divisions - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

NSA surveillance exposes political party divisions

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By STEVE PEOPLES and EILEEN SULLIVAN

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The debate about whether to continue the dragnet surveillance of Americans' phone records is highlighting divisions within the Democratic and Republican parties that could transform the politics of national security.

While some leading Democrats are reluctant to condemn the National Security Agency's tactics, the GOP is embracing a libertarian shift opposing the spy agency's broad surveillance powers. That's a striking departure from the aggressive national security policies that have defined the Republican Party for generations.

The lines are drawn but not in the traditional way. The Republican National Committee, civil libertarians and liberals are on one side of the debate. Other Republicans and Democrats, such as the House and Senate leadership, are on the other side, supporting the Obama administration's surveillance programs.

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