Bush said the warrantless spying, conducted by the National Security Agency, was an essential element in the war on terror.AP - 19 December 05 -Washington
"It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy," he said.
Normally, no wiretapping is permitted in the United States without a court warrant. But Bush said he approved the action without such orders "because it enables us to move faster and quicker. We've got to be fast on our feet.
"It is legal to do so. I swore to uphold the laws. Legal authority is derived from the Constitution," he added.
"I can fully understand why members of Congress are expressing concerns about civil liberties," the president said. "I want to make sure the American people understand, however, that we have an obligation to protect you, and we're doing that, and at the same time, protecting your civil liberties."And possibly the scariest report, Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue, says:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said he received a single briefing earlier this year and that important details were withheld. "We need to investigate this program and the president's legal authority to carry it out," Reid said.
Bush was cool toward investigations, saying, "An open debate would say to the enemy, `Here is what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts." He said the administration had consulted with Congress more than a dozen times.
GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.Any betting on whether eventually (if not by the end of the current Republican Administration, by the end of another, if the citizenry are so stupid in '08) we have to carry internal passports and show them if we travel, in order to assure our safety from terror?
“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”
Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!
Cost of the War in Iraq to Date
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