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Pentagon Doesn't Deny Domestic Surveillance

Associated Press | December 14 2005

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon isn't denying the existence of a previously secret 400-page report on its domestic surveillance activities. But spokesman Larry DiRita said Wednesday he has "no personal knowlege of the document."

The existence of the document was first reported by NBC News.

Another Defense Department spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said the military "has a legitimate interest in protecting its people and its installations." And as it seeks to do that, he said, it "has reviewed information" collected about people and groups by domestic law enforcement agencies.

Critics claim the Pentagon is gathering information that goes beyond simply protecting members of the military and Defense Department property, and that it's targetting anti-war protesters and religious groups.

"The allegation that the department is interested in domestic surveillance is not consistent with our policies and procedures," Whitman said.

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