Skip to comments.Bush, under fire, defends spy program
Posted on 12/18/2005 2:47:02 PM PST by FairOpinion
President Bush acknowledged yesterday that he has repeatedly authorized secret eavesdropping within the United States without obtaining warrants, a policy that some critics called illegal. The admission came one day after the president refused to address the issue.
''This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives," the president said.
But Senator Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, urged the president to suspend the program immediately. Feingold said the program violates a law that requires a court order for such surveillance.
''The president does not get to pick and choose which laws he wants to follow," Feingold said in a statement yesterday. ''He is a president, not a king."
Bush addressed the issue in his weekly radio address, which he delivered live in front of television cameras from the White House instead of issuing the usual prerecorded talk.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
"A 1978 law, passed in the wake of revelations that President Richard M. Nixon improperly allowed spying on US citizens, requires the government to obtain a warrant before eavesdropping on people within the United States."
And clearly the US President has executive powers to issue executive orders vital to US security and safety of the American people.
I highly recommend reading the Presiden't Radio Address, addressing this.
As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late.
The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. 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 NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general counsel and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it. Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization.
This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties. And that is exactly what I will continue to do, so long as I'm the President of the United States.
Another important quote from President Bush's speech:
"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country. "
1) The spying is only done on those people within the United States who are known to have association with Al Qaeda.
2) The NYT article makes clear that no laws were broken. Any democrat saying differently is playing politics, imo.
3) The NYT article also says that the C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said. In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.
They were tracking numbers that were tied to confirmed terrorists and according to reports, stopped 3 terrorist attacks within the US. This is EXACTLY how the 9/11 attacks were coordinated - between jihadists and sympathizers of other terrorists living in this country.
4) The NYT article also states that the government DID use subpoenas for domestic taps in a great many instances, mostly related to conversations between terrorist within the US.
5) Clinton used NSA satellites to spy on Americans after the Oklahoma City bombing incident. The leftists never had a problem with that and all the complaints we hear from them now about American's civil rights being abused pale in comparison when one remembers what happened to women and children at WACO and how Clinton abuse his office and used the IRS to target his political enemies.
Just once, I'd like to read Boston, NYT, SFChronicle and the like write...just once:
BOSTON GLOBE UNDER FIRE, BUSH IS SUPPORTED NATIONWIDE IN HIS SPY PROGRAM...
TRAITOROUS CONGRESS UNDER FIRE, BUSH AFFIRMS THE NECESSITY OF THE SPY PROGRAM
I may be wrong , but I thought the Patriot act allowed these taps. If they dont its too bad, Its hard to fight terrorism the way the democrats want it done
"WITH BOTH HANDS TIED BEHIND OUR BACK"
The Bolshevik Globe is a New York Times susidiary and as Liberal as the rotten "Hartford Courant."
One of the provisions of the Patriot Act is to be able to evesdrop on ALL phones ( including cell phones) of terrorist suspects. THIS has been allowed for suspected drug dealers for years, but Congress doesn't want to authorize the same thing for suspected terrorists.
Aha, you're right Russ babe, Rove is King.
Every time I try to access the NY Times, it crashes my computer. So, can you please tell me if the NY Times actually wrote an honest article that did NOT attack Pres. Bush? I value your opinion.
"The spying is only done on those people within the United States who are known to have association with Al Qaeda. "
"The US National Security Agency(NSA) first began to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mail messages between the United States and Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks"
Condi on FoxNews NOW.
You'll feel like bitch-slappin' Russert if a few minutes.
Duh, I can't seem to ingest what I read tonight.
See MTP for that. Not FOX, digger Not FOX
The MSM will not be interested in going after this leak involving real and not phony national security issues such as Joe Wilson's trophy wife.
I no longer read the Boston Globe (even on line), and it appears that I am not alone among my neighbors.
They unjustly criticize this administration in every imaginable way at every opportunity.
I love how the MSM throws spitballs at Bush---while most of the country is applauding him---and then they report that Bush is "under fire," based on the fact that they are throwing spitballs at him.
THIS is propaganda---the true creation of news for the purpose of furthering a political agenda.
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