NSA debate pits far left, right against the middle

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Revelations of massive government collections of Americans' phone and email records have reinvigorated an odd-couple political alliance of the far left and right.

A number of Democratic civil liberties activists and libertarian-leaning Republicans say the government actions are too broad and don't adequately protect citizens' privacy.

This unlikely coalition might have trouble doing anything more than spicing up the national debate. Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering.

And even some of Congress' most outspoken tea partyers are wading cautiously into the discussions.

The debate may test libertarianism's clout within the Republican Party.