Incidentially, why have we not seen one similar to the Valarie Plame affair related to the leaking of the NSA secret program - particularly since they knew it was leaked over a year ago when the Times came to the whitehouse and said they were going to publish the article and then were told not to?
Q Let's move back a couple controversies to the NSA matter. A group of Democratic congressmen have called on the President to order a special prosecutor to investigate. What's your response?So, where's our investigation?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure, a couple of things. First of all, the President talked about the importance of the terrorist surveillance program earlier with the governors. The President's number one priority is to protect the American people, and this terrorist surveillance program is a critical tool in our efforts to prevent attacks. And the President has spoken about how it is a hot pursuit effort aimed at detection and prevention of attacks before they occur. And it's one tool that we are using. This is a comprehensive war on terrorism that we're engaged in and this tool helps us to connect the dots and save lives. And that's why it's so important.
It was carefully tailored. It is focused solely on international communications that involve a known al Qaeda or suspected al Qaeda terrorist or affiliated al Qaeda terrorist. And it went through a careful review process. There were a lot of legal officials that were involved in this at the National Security Agency, at the White House, at the Department of Justice.
And I think that where these Democrats who are calling for this ought to spend their time is on what was the source of the unauthorized disclosure of this vital and critical program in the war on terrorism, because what it has done is signal to the enemy some of what we're doing to try to save lives. And I really don't think there's any basis for a special counsel, and I think the Attorney General has spoken about that, as well. But the fact that this information was disclosed about the existence of this program has given the enemy some of our play book, and that is very dangerous in the war on terrorism.