Saturday, February 18, 2006

DeWine Wants Administration Critics To "Get Beyond" Question Of Whether Warrantless Surveillance Is Illegal

The White House announced its support for proposed legislation from Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) to exclude President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program from the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

As spokesman Trent Duffy told the White House press corps: "The President believes that he has the authority necessary, but of course we're willing to work with the Congress if they feel that further codification of that would be necessary."

So the White House's spin is that it isn't doing anything wrong, but if Congress wants to say so, they won't stop them? Does this make any sense? If the White House thinks it's not violating FISA, then it should tell Congress that legislation is unnecessary.

But of course, the legislation is necessary, because warrantless surveillance violates FISA, which says the National Security Agency must obtain a warrant before conducting surveillance.

DeWine, speaking on Fox News Channel last night, made it clear that he wants to move "beyond" the discussion of what's legal and what's not.

DEWINE: You know, there’s been some controversy about whether or not this program is legal or is not legal. I think we need to get beyond that. And the vast majority of American people believe these calls need to be listened to. But we don’t want to have any kind of debate about whether it’s constitutional or not constitutional. So I think we need to put that beyond us.

This is classic conservative spin. The White House should determine for the entire country when enough questions have been asked -- even when illogical or contradictory answers have been provided.

We should "put this behind us," like we were told to do with the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. It's time to "move on," as we were told to do with Vice President Cheney's accidental shooting of a fellow quail hunter. No one should play the "blame game," we were told after the government failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

And if not, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and the rest will accuse administration critics of hating Bush, coddling terrorists, and so on.

5 Comments:

Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Hold tight.
I think anyone who cares about truth scored a real victory last week when the court in the Electronic Privacy Information Center case ruled the White House DOJ must disclose records of the warrantless spying within 20 days. The judge ruled common sense that "no meaningful debate" on the warrantless spying program can possibly occur without knowing the boundaries and limitations of the NSA's warrantless spying program.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1630294&page=2
Too bad the Republican-dominated Senate cannot see things so clearly.
I hope some of these records are made public.
If the American people were afforded the truth on the government's spying on them, and not required to rely on either largely unnamned federal NSA and FBI agents in news reports or self-serving statements of the Bush Administration, maybe they could form a rational opinion on the spying.
Until that happens, the Senate should not be so smug in the opinion not enough Americans care to hold them to the fire on the issue.
As Democratic Sen. and House Intelligence Committee member Henry Rockefeller has stated during the Senate hearings, prior to but echoing Judge Kennedy's comment, it is complete nonsense to make rulings on the program when they don't know WHAT THE HELL THEY ARE AUTHORIZING OR RESTRICTING.
Elementary to everyone, but Bushies and Republicans I suppose.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"I hope some of these records are made public."


Yes. By all means, let's compound the damage done to our national security by the original treasonous leaking of the NSA program, and disclose the rest of it to the entire world. :rolleyes:

As Democratic Sen. and House Intelligence Committee member Henry Rockefeller has stated during the Senate hearings, prior to but echoing Judge Kennedy's comment, it is complete nonsense to make rulings on the program when they don't know WHAT THE HELL THEY ARE AUTHORIZING OR RESTRICTING.

I think you probably mean Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. Well, I hate to break it to you, twot, but the smart money is on Jay Rockefeller himself being the source of the NSA leak to the NYT. If true, I believe, or at least, I fervently hope, that this bastard is going to get nailed but good by the DOJ.

And those who follow this sort of stuff more closely than most, know full well that this was not the first time this clown has leaked vital national security.

According to his own account, he has admitted to tipping off three Middle Eastern countries, Syria among them, to the fact that we would soon be going to war in Iraq. Not that you've read much about that in MSM. Weeks after he spilled his guts to Syria, the CIA began reporting on the convoys that were traveling from Iraq to Syria. You connect the dots.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"We should "put this behind us," like we were told to do with the atrocities at Abu Ghraib."


I think it's an absolute travesty the way the Abu Ghraib scandal has been exploited by the MSM and the rest of the political left. It has done us great harm in the propaganda war, and caused the death of even more innocent people.

What was clearly a case of a breakdown in leadership and discipline among a few very young and evidently very stupid people left unsupervised for too long, with too much time on their hands, was wrongly portrayed as an institutionally condoned practice of humiliating and tormenting prisoners.

To continually and unnecessarily broadcast these images both here and all around the world the way the media did, was reprehensible, and badly hurt our image.

I did not see our media give the same sort of exposure to the images of Nick Berg and other hostages screaming as these savages slit their throats open. Why not? Out of sensitivity? Please.

It's because showing things like that does nothing to further the media's anti-war, anti-Bush agenda. The Abu Ghraib photos do, which is why the media was so delighted to rehash the whole matter when new, previously unseen photos recently became available.

What was done to those prisoners was wrong, although considering what savage barbarians we are talking about, I will be honest enough to say that I didn't lose any sleep over it. But be that as it may, this mistreatment was not "torture" in the real sense, and it frosts me to have it portrayed as such.

You want to see torture and the worst sort of cruelty against humanity? Force yourself to watch these videos, and then tell me how what was done to those Abu Ghraib prisoners could possibly be called torture.

http://fdd.typepad.com/fdd/2006/01/alert_saddams_c.html

4:12 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"So the White House's spin is that it isn't doing anything wrong, but if Congress wants to say so, they won't stop them? Does this make any sense?


Actually, yes it does, David. It's precisely what the Clinton Administration told Congress. They believed that Clinton was acting within his authority, but agreed to new legislation to support that authority, so long as it was understood that they were not relinguishing the President's inherent authority by doing so.

Didn't we already go through this more than once? It's beginning to feel like "Groundhog Day".

10:37 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, your comments are so lacking in support they almost do not justify taking time to criticize them.
Are you not aware of the well-known, disclosed Bush Administration memo authorizing the use torture of prisoners at Abu Gharu and elsewhere?
Are you not aware of investigations of various global human rights groups of the various foreign prisons operated by the Bush Administration, outlining hard evidences of widespread torture?
Are you not aware of eyewitness testimonies from prisoners ultimately found innocent and released offering additional support to the torture claims?
Educate yourself. Wake up!
Your isolated incident Bush apology crumples and smolders like a dried leaf when struck under the magnifying glass ray of truth.
Second, you think you are wiser than a partisan federal judge and a U.S. senator. The idea is not to disclose info of spying on terrorists, BUT TO DISCLOSE INFO ON SPYING OF INNOCENTS OR GROUPS UNCONNECTED IN ANY WAY TO TERRORISM.
I'm not interested in your Jay Rockefeller conservative conspiracy theory.
This brings me once again back to my beef with you.
You have such blind faith in everything Bush says and does is right and proper DESPITE his long documented record of lies and misrepresentations, DESPITE his long record of incompetence in the area of national security and intelligence (Iraq, the 9-11 Commission findings, etc.) DESPITE HARD EVIDENCES he has abused the program.
Educate yourself. Wake up!

11:09 PM  

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