Monday, December 19, 2005

Reasonable Mouth-Foamers Sputter in Hysterics

Are they kidding me? Apparently, some Reasonable reporter asked the President of the United States whether or not he sought "unchecked power."

Is he expecting to be taken seriously? Exactly what world are some of these Reasonable MSM types living in? "Unchecked power?" Has this reporter ever heard of a constitutional perogative of Congress known as Impeachment? I guarantee you that President Bush knows it, not to mention his legal team.

But, of course, to observe the utter insanity of such speculation hurts the "Bush=Hitler" meme that Reasonable journalists must impose on every GWOT Presidential moment there is.

My Way News covers today's circus:
Accused of acting above the law, President Bush forcefully defended a domestic spying program on Monday as an effective tool in disrupting terrorists and insisted it was not an abuse of Americans' civil liberties.

Bush said it was "a shameful act" for someone to have leaked details to the media. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said it was "probably the most classified program that exists in the United States government" - involving electronic intercepts of telephone calls and e-mails in the U.S. of people with known ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

At a news conference, Bush bristled at the suggestion he was assuming unlimited powers.

"To say 'unchecked power' basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject," he said angrily in a finger-pointing answer. "I am doing what you expect me to do, and at the same time, safeguarding the civil liberties of the country."

Despite Bush's defense, there was a growing storm of criticism from Congress and calls for investigations, from Democrats and Republicans alike. "Where does he find in the Constitution the authority to tap the wires and the phones of American citizens without any court oversight?" asked Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Bush's interpretation of the Constitution was "incorrect and dangerous."

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he would ask Bush's Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, his views of the president's authority for spying without a warrant.

The spying uproar was the latest controversy about Bush's handling of the war on terror, after questions about secret prisons in Eastern Europe, secrecy-cloaked government directives, torture allegations and a death toll of more than 2,150 Americans in Iraq. As a result, Bush's approval rating has slumped as has Americans' confidence in his leadership.

Appealing for support, Bush used the word "understand" 25 times in a nearly hour-long news conference. "I hope the American people understand - there is still an enemy that would like to strike the United States of America, and they're very dangerous," he said. Similarly, he said he hoped that blacks who doubt his intentions "understand that I care about them."
If the glorious Fourth Estate would like to hold President Bush accountable for policy missteps in the GWOT, then they should. There's certainly enough mistakes to critique. But when a journalist raises the spector that an American President--any president--seeks dictatorial powers, then that journalist has officially jumped the shark. If there's no quick and unequivocal condemnation of this individual's utter lack of seriousness and professionalism, then the entire MSM establishment will have exposed just how much of a joke they've become.

We are at war. Our enemies have already taken over three-thousand lives in a senseless and brutal surprise attack. Does anyone for one moment believe that Al Qaeda and it's insidious allies wouldn't take advantage of any opportunity to strike at us again? If the President's authorization of surveillance on Americans that contact suspicious parties beyond our borders prevents another attack--and does not implicate the innocent--then I have no problem with his policy.

The stunning disingenuousness of the Democrats--and their Reasonable allies among the MSM--continues to shock this Fool to the core. When they begin to discuss serious policy initiatives and raise sincere objections, then I'll give them my attention. Until then, I will continue to pay them what I've always contributed: I will pay them no mind!

Other than the small amount necessary to laugh myself out of my chair!

BTW, Captain Ed has some insight into this whole affair:
One of the critical points argued in regard to President Bush's angry pushback on the NSA leak is that his executive order violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). People have the impression that FISA requires warrants from the FISA judge, but that isn't what FISA says at all. In fact, FISA gives the government wide latitude in warrantless surveillance of international communications even when one point originates in the US -- as long as the person in the US does not qualify as a "US person":
(i) “United States person” means a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 1101 (a)(20) of title 8), an unincorporated association a substantial number of members of which are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or a corporation which is incorporated in the United States, but does not include a corporation or an association which is a foreign power, as defined in subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.
Note that a US person must either be a US citizen or someone lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence. If someone resides in the US on a visa and not a green card, they do not qualify, nor do they qualify if they get a green card under false pretenses. FISA authorizes warrantless surveillance in its opening chapter:
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—

(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—

(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or

(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;

(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and

(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title; and

if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.

(2) An electronic surveillance authorized by this subsection may be conducted only in accordance with the Attorney General’s certification and the minimization procedures adopted by him. The Attorney General shall assess compliance with such procedures and shall report such assessments to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under the provisions of section 1808 (a) of this title.
In fact, the only people who need to make this call are the President and the Attorney General, and it doesn't even make the accidental or tangential exposure of communications with US persons a crime. It only requires that the AG ensure that mitigation procedures have been applied to ensure compliance with FISA. The only way that one can violate this law is if the law gets intentionally violated. In other words, one would have to prove that Bush intentionally ordered the surveillance of a qualifying US person.
If he's right, then the Reasonable mouth-foamers have stained the carpet with another tempest in a tea pot. I wonder how long it will be before evermen throughout the country reach for the brooms. Is that a closet door I hear opening?