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McConnell: NSA Programs Are Legal, Snowden Should Be Fully Prosecuted

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Republican senators are attacking GOP challengers earlier and more aggressively than in past elections, including using opposition research to try to knock out upstart rivals before they become serious threats.  Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Republican senators are attacking GOP challengers earlier and more aggressively than in past elections, including using opposition research to try to knock out upstart rivals before they become serious threats. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Republican leader says the National Security Agency programs are legal and subject to rigorous oversight as he questioned the motivation of the private contractor who leaked information about the surveillance operations.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters on Tuesday that Edward Snowden, who disclosed details about two programs, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

McConnell said the Director of National Intelligence declassified some details of the programs that shows they were authorized by law, overseen by Congress and the courts and subject to review.

The lawmaker said that given the scope of the programs, the privacy concerns were understandable. He said it was difficult to understand Snowden’s motivation to warn the enemy about the programs.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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