Bush: Eavesdropping Is "Designed to Protect Civil Liberties"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bush: Eavesdropping Is "Designed to Protect Civil Liberties"

Why is this president smiling? Probably because even he finds his arguments about the NSA eavesdropping to be utterly amusing.

Consider the following question and answer from Thursday's White House press conference:
REPORTER: "On the NSA eavesdropping program, there seems to be growing momentum in Congress to either modify the existing law or write some new law that would give you the latitude to do this, and at the same time, ensure that people's civil liberties are protected. Would you be resistant to the notion of new laws if Congress were to give you what you need to conduct these operations?"

PRESIDENT BUSH: "The terrorist surveillance program is necessary to protect America from attack .... There's no doubt in my mind there are safeguards in place to make sure the program focuses on calls coming from outside the United States in, with an al Qaeda — from a — with a belief that there's an al Qaeda person making the call to somebody here in the States, or vice versa — but not domestic calls. So, as I stand here right now, I can tell the American people the program is legal, it's designed to protect civil liberties, and it's necessary."
It's one thing to contend that the NSA eavesdropping progam is "legal" or "necessary" — although many legal and constitutional experts would argue otherwise. But it's laughable for Bush to state that the administration's eavesdropping program is "designed to protect civil liberties."

Can anyone say that without giggling?

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