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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: American Freedom(tm)

“Now, in terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence.”
-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, December 19, 2005

“Actually not true.. FISA does NOT require a court order before engaging in surveillance. The government can get the court order up to 72 hours AFTER surveillance has begun. The Attorney General of the United States of America just lied to you. Please note that Mr. ‘Thumbscrews’ Gonzales also just stated that Congress gave the President the power to wiretap people after 9/11.”

“Q: If FISA didn't work, why didn't you seek a new statute that allowed something like this legally?
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: That question was asked earlier. We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be -- that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that -- and so a decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program.”
-Press conference with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, December 19, 2005

“Well, why didn’t they try a new legal statute? Because they didn’t think that Congress would allow it. You see, apparently Congress gave the power to wiretap to the President without realizing it because (and this is according to the head of law enforcement in the United States), if they HAD realized it, they wouldn’t have done it. This is, of course, simply the domestic front of the War on Terra. Overseas things are doing just as well.”

“Early voting results announced by Iraqi electoral officials today, with nearly two-thirds of the ballots counted, indicated that religious groups, particularly the main Shiite coalition, had taken a commanding lead.
The secular coalition led by Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister, had won only meager support in crucial provinces where it had expected to do well, including Baghdad.
The front-runner among Sunni Arab voters was a religious coalition whose leaders have advocated resistance to the American military and have demanded that President Bush set a timetable for withdrawing the American military from Iraq.”
-New York Times, December 19, 2005

“Yep, we’re taken out Saddam and put in a democracy. And what is the first thing that that democracy does? Elect a fundamentalist Islamic government with strong ties to Iran. Sure, that sounds like a good use of a few thousand American soldiers lives (not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed). We’re just bringing them the same kind of American Freedom™ that we’ve come to expect ourselves.”

“Q You mean you cannot say whether it's lawful to spy on Americans or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have a Constitution and we have laws.
Q We're not asking for any details. We're asking you –
MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I'm making a broad statement to let you know that we –
Q It is broad. Is it legal to spy on Americans?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have a Constitution and we have laws in place, and we follow those –
Q You say you are abiding by the law?
MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely. And there's congressional oversight of intelligence activities, there's other oversight of intelligence activities.
Q Why do you have to have secret orders then?
MR. McCLELLAN: Does anybody have a question? Go ahead.
Q And how many secret orders have been issued by this President?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the American people appreciate what we do to work within the law to prevent attacks from happening. The Patriot Act is being debated right now.
Q It's never been within the law to spy on Americans.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, December 16, 2005

“And now.. I leave you with the wise words of the Fourth Amendment and its statement on ‘unreasonable searches’..”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution


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