The Note: (F.B.)I. Spy

"More than a dozen current and former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, including some in the small circle who knew of the secret program and how it played out at the F.B.I., said the torrent of tips led them to few potential terrorists inside the country they did not know of from other sources and diverted agents from counterterrorism work they viewed as more productive," reports the Times.

And be sure to Note FBI Director Mueller's initial questioning of the legality of the program.

ABC News' Jessica Yellin has one senior Bush Administration official reacting to the New York Times report that the NSA program eavesdropped on innocent Americans by saying this morning: "This is exactly what we're not interested in doing. The program is for preventing attacks and listening to terrorists and those with ties to terrorists. "

The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have separately filed the first two major lawsuits challenging the legality of the Bush Administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program. Eric Lichtbau of the New York Times has more. LINK

In his write-up of former Vice President Al Gore's wire-tapping speech, USA Today's David Jackson writes that the former Vice President didn't go as far as some Democrats who have called for the President's impeachment. LINK

But although Gore did not call for impeachment in his public remarks, he clearly thinks that impeachment might be in order, according to an exclusive.

Asked by ABC News following his speech whether President Bush's domestic spying program constituted an impeachable offense, Gore said it might be and pointed to one of the three Articles of Impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee approved against President Nixon on July 27, 1974. LINK

"That's a legal determination for the Congress to make," Gore told ABC News. "But Article II of the impeachment charges against President Nixon was warrantless wiretapping that the President said was 'necessary' for national security."

"It can be" an impeachable offense, he added.

The Los Angeles Times' Brownstein on Gore's speech. LINK

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza Notes that Gore "steered away from any discussion of his future national ambitions, offering only a wry smile in response to a 'Gore '08' shout from a man in the crowd." LINK

Blunt v. Boehner v. Shadegg:

Quick weekend recap: Rep. Blunt claims to have more than the votes needed to ascend to Majority Leader, but refuses to release a full list of that support publicly --thereby keeping Reps. Boehner and Shadegg in the race.

"The real test of 'reform' will be if the Members are willing to discipline themselves. That's a good standard for measuring the race for House GOP Majority Leader, too," writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board which goes on to suggest ending earmark spending items and revising the 1974 Budget Act among other things.

With Rep. John Shadegg in the race, "the leadership contest has a chance to be about policy and Republican principle, rather than about personalities and fund-raising prowess," continues the editorial.

Rep. Boehner invokes Duke Cunningham, Michael Scanlon, and Jack Abramoff in the opening paragraph of his Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he calls for earmark reform. LINK

In Human Events online, Jack Kemp writes that he finds Rep. Shadegg's entrance into the race "encouraging." LINK

GOP leadership:

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