December 19, 2005
Bush Fights Back
In today's press conference President Bush defended NSA spying on terrorists that was revealed last week in the NY Times. For someone defending his actions he wasn't defensive. In fact, he was angry the program was revealed. He told reporters, "My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this program in a time of war. . . . The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy." He also countered a reporter's claim that he had "unchecked power" by referring to Congressional briefings by his administration. "There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time. . . . To say 'unchecked power' is to ascribe dictatorial power to the president, to which I object." Robert Byers liked that Bush "boldly and unapologetically stat[ed] his case."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said the President had constitutional and statutory authority for the eavesdropping. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) strongly disagreed:
Nobody, nobody, thought when we passed a resolution to invade Afghanistan and to fight the war on terror, including myself who voted for it, thought that this was an authorization to allow a wiretapping against the law of the United States.
Of course from Feingold's preening it seems he doesn't want the government to have any ability to investigate terrorists like they can drug dealers and organized crime. Thus, his opposition to the Patriot Act.
Going off the deep end and showing off the dark side of weblogging, John Aravosis thinks the NSA was/is spying on reporters. He has no proof but still wants "some enterprising journalist" to ask the White House about it.
Ace sees this as a losing Democratic issue:
When Democrats are apparently incapable of selective outrage and critique -- when they do not choose their fights, but simply climb aboard every anti-American and terrorist-coddling bandwagon -- it can't help be concluded that the San Fransisco Democrats are back, baby, and this time out and proud.
"Bush Defends Eavesdropping Program"
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