A View From The Handbasket

Monday, January 23, 2006
What are you going to do, impeach me? Heh heh.
Posted by neros_fiddle at 4:04 PM
Our President had a good laugh today about his illegal spying program:

"You know, it's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he was just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Bush said with a chuckle.

Of course, the answer to that rhetorical question is: (a) because he doesn't care if he breaks the law, and (b) because he was going to do it anyway, no matter what Congress said:

July 17, 2003
Dear Mr. Vice President,

I am writing to reiterate my concern regarding the sensitive intelligence issues we discussed today with the DCI, DIRNSA, and Chairman Roberts and our House Intelligence Committee counterparts.

Clearly the activities we discussed raise profound oversight issues. As you know, I am neither a technician or an attorney. Given the security restrictions associated with this information, and my inability to consult staff or counsel on my own, I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse these activities.

As I reflected on the meeting today, and the future we face, John Poindexter's TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the Administration is moving with regard to security, technology, and surveiliance.

Without more information and the ability to draw on any independent legal or technical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received.

I am retaining a copy of this letter in a sealed envelope in the secure spaces of the Senate Intelligence Committee to ensure that I have a record of this communication.

I appreciate your consideration of my views.

Most respectfully,

Jay Rockefeller

For Bush, words mean whatever he wants them to. In this context, he thinks "briefing" means "obtaining consent from." Along those lines, he beefed up the marketing for his program by giving it a catchy name:

With congressional hearings set to begin on this issue Feb. 6, Bush kicked his administration's new intensive public relations effort to win support for the program run by the National Security Agency. As part of that, he attempted to give it a new label - the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

See, we were only spying on terrorists. Says it right there in the name. What's your problem?

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