Monday, December 19, 2005

Dubya's right on the money with those "secret spying" wiretaps

From his speech today...

This new threat required us to think and act differently. And as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, to prevent this from happening again, we need to connect the dots before the enemy attacks, not after. And we need to recognize that dealing with al Qaeda is not simply a matter of law enforcement: It requires defending the country against an enemy that declared war against the United States of America.

As president and commander in chief, I have the constitutional responsibility and the constitutional authority to protect our country. Article 2 of the Constitution gives me that responsibility and the authority necessary to fulfill it.

And after September the 11th, the United States Congress also granted me additional authority to use military force against al Qaeda.

After September the 11th, one question my administration had to answer was, using the authorities I have, how do we effectively detect enemies hiding in our midst and prevent them from striking us again?

We know that a two-minute phone conversation between somebody linked to al Qaeda here and an operative overseas could lead directly to the loss of thousands of lives. To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks.

So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorize the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.

This program is carefully reviewed approximately every 45 days to ensure it is being used properly. Leaders in the United States Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this program.

And it has been effective in disrupting the enemy while safeguarding our civil liberties. This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda.

And Bush came up with some gems in his responses to questions from the press.

If I'd've stood up here a year ago in one of my many press conferences and told you that, "Next year I make this prediction to you: that over 10 million Iraqis, including many Sunnis, will vote for a permanent government," I think you probably would have said, "There he goes again."

But it happened. And it happened because the Iraqis want to live in a free society.

[...]QUESTION: So many questions, so little time.

BUSH: Well, keep your questions short, then.