Saturday, December 17, 2005

About That National Security Agency Intercept Program

President Bush devoted much of his national radio broadcast to the subject this morning. He is not backing down one whit. You can view his speech (which was televised this time, apparently) here. The president's remarks are 7 minutes, 51 seconds long, and everyone should see them. This is deadly serious stuff, and it's clear President Bush sees it that way.

Not surprisingly, the CNN headline running right next to the video of the speech is "Bush won't confirm report NSA spied on Americans." This story is probably going to receive a lot of oversimplified news media hype, so if you can't watch the speech, read the whole thing. (HT: Hugh Hewitt.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this Bush Doctrine. The executive branch can do any damn thing they want no matter what the law says as long as said thing is done by the "Commander in Chief" to protect the U.S. people. I actually now believe they did probably have plans to cancel last year's elections had a terrorist attack occurred. In fact I'm surprised Rove didn't arrange for one. Just a little bomb or something to take out a post office somewhere and Bush then orders as commander in chief that the elections be cancelled in order to protect the american people from the danger of a politically divided nation being perceived as an easy target for terrorists. Why the hell not. By the way, I notice you have a quote from known communist posted as your thought for the week. I'm guessing somewhere a NSA machine will be monitoring your emails for the foreseeable future. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, December 17, 2005 7:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me that the same people who want the head of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby because of a leak that Victoria Plame worked for the CIA--a revelation that probably had no negative effect on the security of the United States--are perfectly happy when the New York Times publicly discloses the existence of a previously top-secret program critical to the defense of this nation from terrorism. It also amazes me that the Left that has promulgated campus speech codes that squelch academic freedom at our universities; that has created an atmosphere where an Ann Coulter or a Benjamin Netanyahu cannot deliver a public address on a college campus; that wants to regulate content in the Blogosphere; grows hysterical about the loss of civil liberties supposedly caused by the Patriot Act.  

Posted by Ralph B. Kostant

Saturday, December 17, 2005 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Hey, Anonymous, you need to make an argument against what Bush actually said, not some pathetic straw man. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Comparing Ann Coulter being shouted down to one branch of government unilaterally deciding it is going to ignore the law? Well, now that I think about it I can see it your way. Screw civil liberties-Long live the human swizzle stick! Viva Ann Coulter! 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Hedgehog, I need make no such argument. Bush has already proven AND admitted I should not base my arguments on his words. I think I'll try to concentrate on objective evidence instead. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, Hedgehog, how do you feel a man like Jack Anderson would handle the current issues involving the White House? Do you think he'd take Bush at his word? Should he? Surely he is someone we can both agree to as someone to be admired. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Before anyone attacks President Bush, they should understand what the law says in this situation. As it stands right now, the NSA broke no laws. The NYT was tipped because some people were "uncomfortable" with the taps. Well, if that makes you uncomfortable, there are some nice desk jobs open at Citibank. It is amazing to me that the media could give a rip about us winning the GWOT. It's equally unbelievable to think that this is the same media that kept FDR's sickness under wraps only 60 years ago. The fact remains that nobody can cite any abuse through the Patriot Act, and nobody will be able to cite abuse through these wire taps. They tapped people with terrorist connections. Terrorist connections that they learned of through interrogation. Oh, but maybe they learned the names through "torture" so let's toss that out too. I hope for the left's sake and the Gray Lady's sake that we don't get hit again because of this. Oh, but that will be Bush's fault too. By the way, don't pay any attention to the democracy developing behind the curtain. 

Posted by Jason

Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous nash said...

Fox news is just as bad as CNN. They're saying that Bush "revealed" the wiretapping to congress (as if they hadn't already been briefed) and many _Republicans_ in Congress are upset. They then showed Harry Reid condemning Bush. 

Posted by nash

Sunday, December 18, 2005 6:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Roger said...

I am a proud civil libertarian and I believe that our largely wonderful law enforcement officers understand the difference between what is lawful and what isn't when it comes to surveillance of suspected law-breakers. I just worry about the creeping nature of relaxed standards (similar to the worry that conservatives have with 2nd Amendment laws). I fear that the Patriot Act will work in the same manner.

In some ways, I feel it is impossible for Americans to be truly "safe". Sure, law enforcement, through diligent and LAWFUL means can prevent some violence, but, I think it is just being honest that no matter the roll-backs in civil liberties something disastrous is still possible and unpreventable. I would rather the Patriot Act go away and there be no erosion in civil liberties. That is where I believe the line should be relative to national security and civil liberties. Frankly, I don't see our national security being threatened to the extent that requires a relieving of some civil liberties.

In addition, I notice that President Bush mentioned that the surveillance plan was vetted by our nation's top legal authorities and deemed to be lawful. That may very well be so, as I am not educated in constitutional law, and am not familiar with the vetting process. But I gotta wonder, if our current Attorney General -- Mr. Gonzalez -- was one of the parties providing the vetting, it gives me concern. This was the same gentleman who believeed that the law allowed the holding of suspects without a charge and that the Geneva Convention was deemed not applicable. Whether Mr. Gonzalez was right or wrong on the technicial merits of these issues is not my point. I believe that morally, it was the wrong decision and am now concerned that morally (again, not legally) the same kind of decisions are being made.

One final comment, Mr. Lott is quoted recently as saying, "I don't agree with the libertarians, I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that." Mr. Lott, those details you are dismissing seemingly so easily are what I call freedom.

Thanks for the discussion. 

Posted by Roger

Sunday, December 18, 2005 8:38:00 AM  

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