Saturday, December 17, 2005
Bush: Eavesdropping Helps Save U.S. Lives
Dec 17, 5:06 PM (ET)
By JENNIFER LOVEN
WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing angry criticism and challenges to his authority in Congress, President Bush on Saturday unapologetically defended his administration's right to conduct secret post-Sept. 11 spying in the United States as "critical to saving American lives."
One Democrat said Bush was acting more like a king than a democratically elected leader. But Bush said congressional leaders had been briefed on the operation more than a dozen times. That included Democrats as well as Republicans in the House and Senate, a GOP lawmaker said.
So there was nothing SECRET (from congress) about these actions the proper people were informed.
Often appearing angry in an eight-minute address, the president made clear he has no intention of halting his authorizations of the monitoring activities and said public disclosure of the program by the news media had endangered Americans.
Bush's willingness to publicly acknowledge a highly classified spying program was a stunning development for a president known to dislike disclosure of even the most mundane inner workings of his White House. Just a day earlier he had refused to talk about it.
Finaly, The President confronts these idiot claims head on. He also acknowledges that the public airing of this information has put LIVES in JEOPARDY.
Since October 2001, the super-secret National Security Agency has eavesdropped on the international phone calls and e-mails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants. Bush said steps like these would help fight terrorists like those who involved in the Sept. 11 plot.
"The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time," Bush said. "And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad."
Including the prevention of at least one attack that was thwarted and the story leaked, about the plan to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.
News of the program came at a particularly damaging and delicate time.
Already, the administration was under fire for allegedly operating secret prisons in Eastern Europe and shipping suspected terrorists to other countries for harsh interrogations.
The NSA program's existence surfaced as Bush was fighting to save the expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the domestic anti-terrorism law enacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Democrats and a few Republicans who say the law gives so much latitude to law enforcement officials that it threatens Americans' constitutional liberties succeeded Friday in stalling its renewal.
The Leaking of this information was a coordinated attack on our security to weaken the President and defeat the Patriot Act. A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NEEDS TO BE APPOINTED to find the leaker and have them tried for TREASON.
So Bush scrapped the version of his weekly radio address that he had already taped - on the recent elections in Iraq - and delivered a live speech from the Roosevelt Room in which he lashed out at the senators blocking the Patriot Act as irresponsible and confirmed the NSA program.
Bush said his authority to approve what he called a "vital tool in our war against the terrorists" came from his constitutional powers as commander in chief. He said that he has personally signed off on reauthorizations more than 30 times.
"The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties," Bush said. "And that is exactly what I will continue to do, so long as I'm the president of the United States."
The President has the right and the Duty to do this especialy in times of WAR.
Also somthing the reader should be made aware of. Those were NOT the Presidents words these were " I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups." The Scum Bag Reporter who wrote this story has changed the presidents words. Ms. Loven is showing her own bias here as she ALTERS the Presidents words. Now why do you suppose little Jennifer felt the need to do that??
Constitutional Authority for Executive OrdersArticle II, section 1 of the Constitution reads, in part, "The executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States of America." And, Article II, section 3 asserts that, "The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed..." Since the Constitution does not specifically define executive power, critics of Executive Orders argue that these two passages do not imply Constitutional authority. But, Presidents of the United States since George Washington have argued that they do.
Modern Use of Executive OrdersUntil World War I, the Executive Order was used for relatively minor, usually unnoticed acts of state. A trend that changed drastically with passage of the War Powers Act of 1917. This act passed during WWI granted the President temporary powers to immediately enact laws regulating trade, economy, and other aspects of policy as they pertained to enemies of America. A key section of the War Powers act also contained language specifically excluding American citizens from its effects.
The War Powers Act remained in effect and unchanged until 1933 when a freshly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt found America in the panic stage of the Great Depression. The first thing FDR did was to convene a special session of Congress where he introduced a bill amending the War Powers Act to remove the clause excluding American citizens from being bound by its effects. This would allow the President to declare “national emergencies” and unilaterally intact laws to deal with them. This massive amendment was approved by both houses of Congress in under 40 minutes without debate. Hours later, FDR officially declared the depression a “national emergency” and stared issuing a string of Executive Orders that effectively were the “New Deal.”
Thats a brief History
James Bamford, author of two books on the NSA, said the program could be problematic because it bypasses a special court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to authorize eavesdropping on suspected terrorists.
"I didn't hear him specify any legal right, except his right as president, which in a democracy doesn't make much sense," Bamford said in an interview. "Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law - which is illegal."
Mr. Bamford is an ASS and we don't live in a Democracy you fool we live in a Republic. Bamford lectures nationally and is a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Bamford's fans praise his ability to gather previously classified information through inside sources and FOIA requests. Bamford's critics claim his conclusions are "overblown, undersourced or just wrong" to quote a review of his Pretext for War.
To say the least he is NOT an authority on anything. He is a political hack with an axe to grind that see's conspiracies everywhere.
Susan Low Bloch, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center, said Bush was "taking a hugely expansive interpretation of the Constitution and the president's powers under the Constitution.
Ms. Low Bloch is an excellant Professor however she is also a leftwing partisan Here is an example of where she stands politically.... I would like to disclose my personal connection with the saga. I first became involved when Paula Jones sued the President in 1994. I argued, in an op-ed, that a private damage action against a sitting President must wait until the President is out of office, unless the plaintiff can show irreparable harm from such a delay. After the Supreme Court ultimately rejected that argument, and Independent Counsel Ken Starr sent his referral to the House of Representatives, I urged members of the House not to impeach... She doesn't lean to the left huh
That view was echoed by congressional Democrats.
"I tell you, he's President George Bush, not King George Bush. This is not the system of government we have and that we fought for," Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press.
Added Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.: "The Bush administration seems to believe it is above the law."
These idiots don't even know what they swore an oath to uphold.
Bush defended the program as narrowly designed and used "consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution." He said it is employed only to intercept the international communications of people inside the U.S. who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al-Qaida or related terrorist organizations.
Government officials have refused to provide details, including defining the standards used to establish such a link or saying how many people are being monitored.
The program is reviewed every 45 days, using fresh threat assessments, legal reviews, and information from previous activities under the program, the president said. Intelligence officials involved in the monitoring receive extensive training in civil liberties, he said.
Bush said leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., told House Republicans that those informed were the top Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and of each chamber's intelligence committees. "They've been through the whole thing," Hoekstra said.
The Democrats knew this was going on, and were OK with it. This proves that this whole thing is just an act to create problems and cover their derailing of the Patriot Act. In a time of war these leaks are acts of Treason.
The president had harsh words for those who revealed the program to the media, saying they acted improperly and illegally. The surveillance was first disclosed in Friday's New York Times.
"As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," Bush said. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."
Where is the appointment of the Special Prosicutor???
Bush has more to worry about on Capitol Hill than his difficulties with the Patriot Act. Lawmakers have begun challenging Bush on his Iraq policy, reflecting polling that shows half of the country is not behind him on the war.
On Sunday, the president was continuing his effort to reverse that by giving his fifth major speech in less than three weeks on Iraq.
One bright spot for the White House was a new poll showing that a strong majority of Americans oppose, as does Bush and most lawmakers, an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The AP-Ipsos poll found 57 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. military should stay until Iraq is stabilized.
In other words the President has the people behind him. The left needs to wake up and realize that even those that oppose the war see these actions as putting all Americans at risk, and they see who is truly jeopardizing their lives.
Associated Press Special Correspondent David Espo and writers Andrew Bridges and Will Lester contributed to this report.