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Big radio address this morning, following the criticisms that came about yesterday that Bush allegedly authorized eavesdropping on terror cells via the NSA. Also talked about how vital it is for the Patriot Act renewal to pass... very interesting stuff right here: (from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051217.html)


10:06 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
As President, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life. On September the 11th, 2001, our freedom and way of life came under attack by brutal enemies who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. We're fighting these enemies across the world. Yet in this first war of the 21st century, one of the most critical battlefronts is the home front. And since September the 11th, we've been on the offensive against the terrorists plotting within our borders.
One of the first actions we took to protect America after our nation was attacked was to ask Congress to pass the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act tore down the legal and bureaucratic wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence authorities from sharing vital information about terrorist threats. And the Patriot Act allowed federal investigators to pursue terrorists with tools they already used against other criminals. Congress passed this law with a large, bipartisan majority, including a vote of 98-1 in the United States Senate.
Since then, America's law enforcement personnel have used this critical law to prosecute terrorist operatives and supporters, and to break up terrorist cells in New York, Oregon, Virginia, California, Texas and Ohio. The Patriot Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do: it has protected American liberty and saved American lives.
Yet key provisions of this law are set to expire in two weeks. The terrorist threat to our country will not expire in two weeks. The terrorists want to attack America again, and inflict even greater damage than they did on September the 11th. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that law enforcement and intelligence officials have the tools they need to protect the American people.
The House of Representatives passed reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Yet a minority of senators filibustered to block the renewal of the Patriot Act when it came up for a vote yesterday. That decision is irresponsible, and it endangers the lives of our citizens. The senators who are filibustering must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment.
To fight the war on terror, I am using authority vested in me by Congress, including the Joint Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first week after September the 11th. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in me as Commander-in-Chief.
In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.
This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.
As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late.
The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.
The NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general counsel and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it. Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization.
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, so long as I'm the President of the United States.
Thank you.
END 10:13 A.M. EST
 

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Ah, well, his lips are moving.. you know what that means. The President doesn't have the authority to order convert intelligence operations that violate the law, nor does he have the authority to order any intelligence operation without informing the senate and house intelligence oversight committees.
 

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If he was protecting us I want to see what came out of this. If he could say yeah, we caught Osoma then fine but he hasn't come up with anything after he did this.
 
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Catching osama means nothing at this point there are a hundred osamas and if you need to hear me talking dirty to my co-workers to make me safer then so be it.
 

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Protecting the Constitution......he is doing everything in his powers to destroy it. Obviously he hasn't read it.
 

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For the most part the speech is rhetorical and pointless. There is however one nugget that speaks volumes about the Administyration's intention and mind set. Whether they realize it or not. Read the below section paying special attention to the portions in red and blue:

El Presidente said:
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.


The bit in red states that the periodic review process dictates whether or not the policy is continued. The part in blue states that REGARDLESS of whether or not the policy passes review the President intends to renew the policy. Get me? If it was stated that:

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I intend to do so for as long as it can be deemed that the policy does not violate the tenets of the United States Constitution as defined by our periodic review and that Al Quada and like organizations present a continuing and grave threat to the continuity of our government and the lives of our citizens."

In essence the President is saying that he will continue renewing the policy REGARDLESS of whether or not it passes periodic analytic muster. THAT is what scares me about him and the statement invalidates his previous statement that it is his intention to protect the Constitution. Regardless the people who are reviewing the policy are his appointees and employees... That doesn't really give me faith that it is ACTUALLY being objectively reviewed. Actually quite the opposite. it is the fox gaurding the hen house. This administration has proven that they are not capable of objective analysis and should be prohibited from reviewing the policy as it is a direct conflict of interest. Review shouldbe bi-partisan and independent. We know what partisan and dependent review of intelligence and policy results in with these guys...


 

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Spirare, don't you think that section, especially the part in black, could be read as the President will reauthorize the "program" (the set of activities and review) as long as needed? I don't see your claims in his statement, then again maybe it is just wishfull thinking on either of our parts.
 

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vista_cruiser said:
Spirare, don't you think that section, especially the part in black, could be read as the President will reauthorize the "program" (the set of activities and review) as long as needed? I don't see your claims in his statement, then again maybe it is just wishfull thinking on either of our parts.
Perhaps it is shoddy speech writing... Whether it is intentional or not he defines the criteria for continuing the policy as subject to review then he defines his intention differently. The policy review includes analysis of PREVIOUS action yet his statement indicates that he plans to continue the policy regardless of the result of that (biased) analysis. Again.. perhaps it's just shoddy speech writing... Then again you KNOW how well the President likes review of any sort. he simply doesn't.
 

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vista_cruiser said:
Spirare, don't you think that section, especially the part in black, could be read as the President will reauthorize the "program" (the set of activities and review) as long as needed? I don't see your claims in his statement, then again maybe it is just wishfull thinking on either of our parts.
Also the review is more broad than simply defining need. It also defines appropriateness based upon past results and whether or not the policy violates rights. He is stating that it is his intention to renew the policy as long as needed but the description of the review process indicates that it could be advised to stop the program regardless of need if it fails other criteria. Get me? Again it could just be shoddy speech writing processed by a public speeking imbecile resulting in incongruous message... That is likely as well.
 

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:banghead: WTF wouldn't he go to the court review or the intellegence commitees for a rubber stamp after 9/11. It would have been a no brainer and he wouldn't have to go through this crap now.
 

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Spirare said:
Also the review is more broad than simply defining need. It also defines appropriateness based upon past results and whether or not the policy violates rights. He is stating that it is his intention to renew the policy as long as needed but the description of the review process indicates that it could be advised to stop the program regardless of need if it fails other criteria. Get me?
I get what you are saying, I am trying to say that the way I read the speech is that the president has the intention of renewing the cycle of intelligence gathering and review as long as there is a threat. Now it takes a leap of faith but I that would mean that if the review showed that the actions were no longer advisable (for whatever reason) then actions would stop, otherwise what would be the point of continuing the review?

[Again it could just be shoddy speech writing processed by a public speaking imbecile resulting in incongruous message... That is likely as well.
Come on...............What are the chances of that?:poke: :lol:
 

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Indeed.. but this is President Bush. If anything, he's constantly reaffirmed his feeling that he is above the rule and law. It would have been nothing to have one of a zillion subordinates file a simple report with the intelligence oversight committees, who have no power to stop him from doing anything. But no, he's the President, he gets to do whatever he wants. Spreading democracy everywhere but at home. :rolleye:
 

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Wait, the federal government is using the same techniques and procedures they've been using for decades to fight drug lords and organized crime families, such as wiretaps, to fight people who indiscriminately target innocent civilians?

That's bullshit! I can feel my civil liberties slipping away as we speak...
 

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oh come on Mac, you know that if you're not guilty, you have nothing to hide. Due Process and the Bill of Rights are simply there so we can tell our troops they are defending democracy.
 

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vista_cruiser said:
I get what you are saying, I am trying to say that the way I read the speech is that the president has the intention of renewing the cycle of intelligence gathering and review as long as there is a threat. Now it takes a leap of faith but I that would mean that if the review showed that the actions were no longer advisable (for whatever reason) then actions would stop, otherwise what would be the point of continuing the review?
I get your point and would concede it if it was implicit that the activities he wants us to engage in include the review. The statement he made however sets the review process aside from the 'activities'. if he said: "The activities I authorized INCLUDE a review approximately every 45 days."

He however, did not say that. The way the statement is structured the review process is external of the 'activities' in question. Also given the Administrations clear past in regard to review of ANYHTING the have done or intend to do it becomes patently clear that they have no intention of actually reviewing their 'work'. Nevermind the fact that the parties reviewing the activities are his appointees and his lawyer...

All this in mind I am simply reviewing the speech. Taking from it what is there. What I have described IS indeed there...


 

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JamesBondage said:
Wait, the federal government is using the same techniques and procedures they've been using for decades to fight drug lords and organized crime families, such as wiretaps, to fight people who indiscriminately target innocent civilians?

That's bullshit! I can feel my civil liberties slipping away as we speak...
Well no James... The fed was required, prior to the Patriot Act, to get court orders for wiretaps. The war on drugs required court involvement. The Patriot Act did away with that and THAT is what is at issue. NOT whether or not wiretaps are appropriate but how they are initiated. You are patently incorrect in your statement above. The procedure is what is being debated because the procedure is what has changed. It is simply NOT the same procedure used for decades. If it was why would there have been a Patriot Act?
 

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The issue here is that Bush has taken it even beyond the Patriot act, by granting federally-authorized wiretaps without going through the FISA courts. It is, plain and simple, illegal. But you know, violating federal surveillance statutes isn't a serious crime like perjury, etc..
 
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