"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Sunday, December 18, 2005

He's Right.

Bush Urges Patriot Act Extension
Saturday, December 17, 2005

December 18, 2005


President Bush said Saturday that senators who are blocking renewal of the terrorism-fighting Patriot Act are acting irresponsibly and standing in the way of protecting the country from attack.

"In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment," the president said in a live broadcast from the White House of his weekly radio address.

Senate Democrats, with the aid of a handful of Republicans, succeeded Friday in stalling the bill already approved by the House. The vote to advance the measure, 52-47, fell eight votes shy of the 60 votes required to end debate.

"That decision is irresponsible and it endangers the lives of our citizens. The senators who are filibustering must stop their delaying tactics and the Senate must reauthorize the Patriot Act," Bush said.

Opponents of renewing the law, most of whom are Democrats, argue that it threatens constitutional liberties at home.

Most Republicans and other supporters say the act is essential for protecting the country against terrorists. The law was enacted in the aftermath of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Of the 55 Republicans in the Senate, four helped to block its passage while two of the 45 Democrats pushed to pass it.

Some of the most contentious elements of the Patriot Act include powers granted to law enforcement agencies to gain access in secret to library and medical records and other personal data during investigations of suspected terrorist activity.

The law allows the government to conduct roving wiretaps involving multiple phones and to wiretap "lone wolf" terrorists who may operate on their own, without control from a foreign agent or power.

If the law is not renewed, its powers would expire Dec. 31 only for new investigations of people whose criminal activity began after Dec. 31 and who were not associated with anyone who was under investigation before Dec. 31.

The debate over the Patriot Act was fueled anew by a New York Times report that Bush had secretly authorized eavesdropping on individuals in the United States without first gaining permission from the courts.


Anonymous Jeff said...

"Those who would give up their personal freedoms in exchange for security deserve neither."

Benjamin Franklin

You know he's crooked man, you know he's wrong. Time to break out of the wingnutsphere and come back to reality please. I believe in christmas miracles, and I'm praying for one for you, hard.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

...and this time I was not the one who brought him back.

2:47 PM  
Blogger John said...

It's alright, Kelly.

He's crying for help, and that's what we're doing, helping him.

Along with the election in Iraq and the Redskins sweeping the Cowboys, here's a REAL Christmas miracle:

"I believe in christmas miracles, and I'm praying for one for you, hard."

Wow. Republicus has inspired him--a theophobic liberal-- to pray. ;)

7:31 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Why, I do believe there is a Santa Claus.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Bush’s Snoopgate
The president was so desperate to kill The New York Times’ eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper’s editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security.

Bush says he had ‘legal authority’ to permit the National Security Agency listen in on American citizens without a warrant

Dec. 19, 2005 - Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting,
but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.

The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.

No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.

What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.

This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat in Cuba.

This time, the president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.
© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

The President of the United States is spying on you. So? September the 11th. Do you have anything to hide? What are you really downloading on the Internet? Why did you check that treasonous liberal book out of the library? Why did you buy that immoral, lustful present? As a business owner, how could you sell your services to a person who knew a person, who knew a person, who may have contributed money to an Islamic foundation that may or may not send funds to an organization that may or may not be terrorist related? How could you? Thank God the President of the United States authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept all of your phone calls and Internet activity. I feel safer. September the 11th.

I certainly don't have anything to hide. September the 11th. I've never done anything wrong, immoral, embarrassing, or even slightly sinful. So I have nothing to worry about. September the 11th. I feel privileged that the President is spying on me. It's like he's taken an interest in me, he's watching over me. It makes me feel safe knowing that no matter what I do, wherever I go, no matter how private the setting, the President is watching me. September the 11th.

I have written to my congressman, Republican Dennis Kucinich, to suggest that we expand this spying program to include all domestic activity as well. I asked him to propose a bill that will place video cameras or web cam in every bedroom in America. This way we can be sure that Terrorists aren't hiding there. September the 11th. Eventually this program can be expanded to provide cameras in every part of our homes. Especially bathrooms, terrorist love to hide in bathrooms.

Next, every phone call made by every American should be recorded and analyzed for any potential terrorist activity. September the 11th. The bonus is, that since we already have the information, it would be criminal not to scrutinize these phone calls for possible murders, robberies, tax evasion, adultery, dissenting political views, or any crime at all.

If you are a law (September the 11th) abiding, god fearing, moral, upstanding citizen you should support these laws and especially the President. To criticize the President in a time of war is treasonous. September the 11th. Even if the war on terror is predicted to last a minimum of 100 years, what is a century of surrendering and forfeiting our namby-pamby bleeding heart liberal civil liberties compared with the patriotic, valiant, true American conservative vision of the future? September the 11th. No Taxes for corporations, no regulation, no pensions, no welfare, no social security, no Medicaid, a camera in every bedroom, a listener on every phone call, a national religion, and an indictment of treason, punishable by death for any dissenting opinion, accusation, or question. Especially liberals. Liberals will be guilty until proven innocent. We do not torture. September the 11th. Mission Accomplished. We're doing a Heckuva job. We're turning the corner, they're in their last throes. Freedom is on the march. September the 11th. Osama Bin Laden? I don't really think about him, he doesn't really concern me.

In conclusion: September the 11th. And God Bless America.

6:52 PM  
Blogger John said...

Hey knucklehead. ALL the eavesdropping and traces were planted on strongly suspected or confirmed Al Qaeda affiliates from here to overseas.


Republicus has said, his concern would be future abuse by future administrations--like the Clinton's, who PILFERED private FBI files-- but right now the Bush Administration is busy trying to pre-empt foreign terrorist plots than he is trying to dig up dirt on political opponents, not to mention embarrass private citizens.

And Republicans aren't like that, anyway. It's YOU LEFTISTS who do that, as you yourself have demonstrated, and continue to demonstrate.

8:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home