According to an article in the today’s online edition of the New York Times:

President Bush today denied that the government is “mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans,” as Democrats expressed outrage over a news report describing a National Security Agency program that has collected vast amounts of telephone records.

The article, in USA Today, said that the agency did not listen to the calls, but secretly obtained information on numbers dialed by “tens of millions of Americans” and used it for “data mining” — computer analysis of large amounts of information for clues or patterns to terrorist activity.

Also reported in today’s online edition of the New York Times:

An investigation by the Justice Department ethics office into the conduct of department lawyers who approved the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program has been closed because investigators were denied security clearances, according to a letter sent to Congress on Wednesday.

The head of the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, H. Marshall Jarrett, wrote in the letter to Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, Democrat of New York, that “we have been unable to make meaningful progress in our investigation because O.P.R. has been denied security clearances for access to information about the N.S.A. program.”

So the President will tell us that he’s not spying on us, but won’t allow us to verify the story for security reasons. So why should we believe him?

Oh yes, because he’s our leader, and we should never question our leader. After all, dissent is treason, as claimed by the editors of the New York Sun on February 6, 2003.