Which side are the Senate Democrats and the Big Media on? Is it the forces who would stand for freedom or those who would stand for tyranny? The evidence is piling up for the latter. Watch and note how our betters would play politics with World War Four using intelligence information (again) as the weapon.
From the AP via the New York Times:
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.''The president should be angry that there are government officials who would leak classified activities which are designed to protect the citizens of the United States. I’m incredibly angry about it, especially since I know that any president is authorized to do what President Bush has done in this matter. That the editors of the Associated Press and the New York Times couldn’t be bothered to gain some knowledge on the subject doesn’t surprise me. That those who make policy on foreign and domestic matters for all of us couldn’t be bothered to read or would ignore the existence of Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981 is far more frightening.
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.
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.
2.3 Collection of Information. Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to collect, retain or disseminate information concerning United States persons only in accordance with procedures established by the head of the agency concerned and approved by the Attorney General, consistent with the authorities provided by Part 1 of this Order [see below about who they are]. Those procedures shall permit collection, retention and dissemination of the following types of information: [SNIP]More from the AP/NYT article:
(b) Information constituting foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, including such information concerning corporations or other commercial organizations. Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the FBI or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized agencies of the Intelligence Community provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such agencies may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons;
(c) Information obtained in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, international narcotics or international terrorism investigation;
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.
This little piece of twisted “reportage” is just another example of how the Big Media does things when it comes to the actions of this president. Classified information is leaked to the press, the press publishes the information gleefully and when the president chooses not to comment on it, Big Media editors and op-ed writers lament the “secrecy” of the administration. But when the president decides to explain himself, the Big Media is “stunned” at his openness. Note how the writing attempts to make it seem as though President Bush is at fault for the uproar about the leak of classified information.
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.
According to the linked Executive Order, however, it isn't the courts who have to approve the type of eavesdropping specified, but the justice department (among others), meaning the AG. But why would the Big Media let facts get in the way of innuendo unfavorable to the president?
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.''
The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President.NYT/AP article again:
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.But of course this president “went around the law” rather than getting approval from the proper authorities! How could it be otherwise for the president who would be king!
That the president actually mentions the AG approval, among others, but Bamford and Bloch miss it and the NYT and AP don’t bother to review the speech or the law is, again, ignorance or deception. I suppose, since the president doesn’t mention the National Security Council, the
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.''
See? It's true because they say so;they're your betters and you couldn't possibly be smart enough to have some knowledge of the subject, know where to find the information or know someone who does know where to look. After all, there's no way in the Grand and Right Order of Things that you could know more than the Senate and the Big Media knows, right?
Perhaps Senators Feingold and Leahy know nothing about the appropriate law and missed all of the appropriate reviews—maybe they didn't/don’t have a ‘need-to-know’ this information or maybe they were out doing the peoples’ business for their respective states during every single review. (Maybe pigs can fly.) But if they know nothing about this program, what could possible be the purpose in getting out front of this latest parade to hurl epithets at the president? Oh, I forgot: these are
the Senate Democrats Senators we’re talking about: any face time is good time. Forget I asked.
On the other hand, these good senators could be pretending that they know nothing about either the briefings or the executive order, which would be even more frightening than any ignorance of either or the usual senate narcissism. If such is the case, this is damning evidence that these senators would put partisan gain over national security. Of course, many of us on the right have been saying this for some time; still, every new piece of evidence seems to escalate in its level of shamelessness.
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.If the president has authorized this classified program and it has been subject to proper approval and diligent review every forty-five days, one would think that the fine, upstanding members of the senate—some of whom fancy themselves to be so much smarter than the president--would think to ensure that the program they were reviewing was legal, legally implemented and reviewed within the proper scope. Do you think they did this? Actually, I do. So what’s this wannabee of a scandal about? Merely about a blind grab at power at the expense of national security.
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.
In other news, the sun also rises.
(All emphasis mine in the quotes .)
Several decades in Club Fed is exactly what justice demands for those that would compromise America's national security concerns for partisan political vendettas.Damn skippy, but noting the Sandy Berger precedent, I'm not holding my breath.