Monday, December 19, 2005

W's press conference - I laughed, I cried

From the President's press conference this morning, Dec. 19, 2005, and no this is not from The Onion:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I wonder if you can tell us today, sir, what, if any, limits you believe there are or should be on the powers of a President during a war, at wartime? And if the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I disagree with your assertion of "unchecked power."

Q Well --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on a second, please. There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters.

There is checks and balances because the people illegally spying on Americans in America without a court order are "sworn to uphold the law?" That's some self-fulfilling checks and balances if I ever heard of any. Was Enron and WorldCom basically doing their own accounting a form of checks and balances since they had to follow the law?

More on the NSA domestic spying program:

PRESIDENT: Now, having suggested this idea, I then, obviously, went to the question, is it legal to do so? I am -- I swore to uphold the laws. Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is, absolutely. As I mentioned in my remarks, the legal authority is derived from the Constitution, as well as the authorization of force by the United States Congress.

Oh and I thought "checks and balances" was going to make it past 229. W answers his own question. Is this legal? Yes! Why? Because I said so. And for all you strict constructionists out there - you like that answer that W's authority is in the Constituiton? It's just in there? Just look around it's there. It's Article II. Nice. Could you be more vague? Weren't you all the loudest about the "rule of law" when Clinton was president? Now it's "well, it's in Article II somewhere." Did you even have a nice going away party for your principles? Of the 19,000 FISA wiretap requests since 1979 all but five were approved and reports are those five were later approved.

And this. Can you hear the powers of W growing as fast as his divine infallibility?

PRESIDENT: ...So in other words, this is not a -- if you're calling from Houston to L.A., that call is not monitored.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You say you have an obligation to protect us. Then why not monitor those calls between Houston and L.A.? If the threat is so great, and you use the same logic, why not monitor those calls?

PRESIDENT: We will, under current law, if we have to. We will monitor those calls.

Someone call NBC and get W on the writing staff to help their comedy line-up.

On Saddam and 9/11:

PRESIDENT: And guess what happened? Saddam -- Osama bin Laden changed his behavior. He began to change how he communicated.

Too bad W couldn't have mixed up Iran and Iraq as much as he confuses (purposely) Saddam and Osama. Then maybe we could have gone after a real nuclear threat instead of a phony one.

On the Valarie Plame leak:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me start with the first question. There is a process that goes on inside the Justice Department about leaks, and I presume that process is moving forward. My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy.

You've got to understand -- and 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. And the discussion about how we try to find them will enable them to adjust. Now, I can understand you asking these questions and if I were you, I'd be asking me these questions, too. But it is a shameful act by somebody who has got secrets of the United States government and feels like they need to disclose them publicly.

Actually this was not about Valarie Plame but on the leak to the New York Times, which kept the story to itself for a year, that the NSA was spying on Americans domestically without a court order. What's shameful is that W didn't object in the same manner to Plame's outing by members of his adminstration. If you read his answer it applies equally to Plame who by the way wasn't violating U.S. law as apparently the NSA was.

The movie V for Vendetta coming out next summer says it best: People should not be afraid of their Governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. W sees it differently. How about you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god he's retarded.

9:42 AM  

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