Created: 06/11/2013 2:58 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda
President Barack Obama
Photo: Photo: KSTP file photo
The Obama administration is declassifying a handful of details that say its PRISM Internet spying program intercepted a key email and unraveled a 2009 terrorist plot in New York.
The details were circulated as the government tries to tamp down criticism of two recently revealed National Security Agency surveillance programs.
Najibullah Zazi's foiled plot to bomb New York subways has become the centerpiece of that effort.
In the rush to defend the surveillance, however, government officials have left out an important detail: The email that disrupted the plan could have been intercepted without PRISM.
The surveillance debate echoes the one over President George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping and harsh interrogation tactics. Critics said the government had gone too far but the administration said the techniques kept America safe.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)