The President was unapologetic in his radio address today while defending himself on the misleading article in yesterday’s NYTimes where Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen (who, incidentally, has a book coming out next month on Bush and the CIA’s history) reported on a so-called authorization of ‘domestic spying’ without a court order – with the clear implication that it was domestic communications being monitored when in actuality it is international communications coming from domestic sources that are being closely monitored. Via AP:
WASHINGTON – President Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program. “This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security,” he said in a radio address delivered live from the White House’s Roosevelt Room.
“This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States,” Bush said.
Without identifying specific lawmakers, Bush said congressional leaders have been briefed more than a dozen times on the program’s activities.
The president also said the intelligence officials involved in the monitoring receive extensive training to make sure civil liberties are not violated.
Appearing angry at times during his eight-minute address, Bush left no doubt that he will continue authorizing the program.
“I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups,” he said.
Does anyone else get the idea that the President is just about fed up with the hand wringers in the Congress and the media who try to undercut by way of chicken little ‘sky is falling’ accusations every move he makes with regards to the war on terror?
Read more via Ace, Clifford May at National Review, Captain Ed, Jeff Goldstein (he has a must-read post on this), Blogs For Bush, Mark in Mexico, Stop the ACLU, Iowa Voice, Newsbusters here and here, Confederate Yankee
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