Mudcat Café message #1654516 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1654516
Posted By: Amos
23-Jan-06 - 08:48 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
View from the Darker Side:

(LA Times)

"Bush Steps Up Defense of Wiretaps, Patriot Act
By James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writer

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- President Bush today strongly defended the National Security Agency's spying on Americans and the Patriot Act calling both legitimate tools in the fight against terrorism as he launched a public embrace of the eavesdropping and sought to turn it into a political advantage.

Arguing that his administration had repeatedly informed congressional leaders about the NSA program, the president said, "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?"

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Bush offered his lengthiest public explanation of what the administration has taken to calling the "terrorist surveillance program" since it was revealed last month, much to his dismay.

Referring approvingly to a 2004 Supreme Court case, he told an audience here: "I'm not a lawyer, but I can tell you what it means: It means Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics. It said, 'Mr. President, you've got the power to protect us, but we're not going to tell you how.'"

The court said that the resolution Congress passed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks granting Bush the authority to use whatever force necessary to protect the nation from terrorism gave him, as commander in chief, the power to hold prisoners who were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan."