Monday, December 19, 2005

More "Oops, Sorry, Our Bad," From the W, Rove And Co.

If it wasn't bad enough that we invaded Iraq on faulty intelligence (or even doctored it up to make it look rational), they are now tapping people that have no links with terrorism whatsoever and they want us to bend over and take it up the ass - and like it too boot. "Oops, sorry our bad. We won't listen to your phone conversations any more?" As the reporter puts it in the tail end of this exchange, "You're never supposed to spy on Americans."
Have a look:
Q Al, you talk about the successes and the critical intercepts of the program. Have there also been cases in which after listening in or intercepting, you realize you had the wrong guy and you listened to what you shouldn't have?

GENERAL HAYDEN: That's why I mentioned earlier that the program is less intrusive. It deals only with international calls. The time period in which we would conduct our work is much shorter, in general, overall, than it would be under FISA. And one of the true purposes of this is to be very agile, as you described.

If this particular line of logic, this reasoning that took us to this place proves to be inaccurate, we move off of it right away.

Q Are there cases in which --

GENERAL HAYDEN: Yes, of course.

Q Can you give us some idea of percentage, or how often you get it right and how often you get it wrong?

GENERAL HAYDEN: No, it would be very -- no, I cannot, without getting into the operational details. I'm sorry.

Q But there are cases where you wind up listening in where you realize you shouldn't have?

GENERAL HAYDEN: There are cases like we do with regard to the global SIGIN system -- you have reasons to go after particular activities, particular communications. There's a logic; there is a standard as to why you would go after that, not just in a legal sense, which is very powerful, but in a practical sense. We can't waste resources on targets that simply don't provide valuable information. And when we decide that is the case -- and in this program, the standards, in terms of re-evaluating whether or not this coverage is worthwhile at all, are measured in days and weeks.

Q Would someone in a case in which you got it wrong have a cause of action against the government?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: That is something I'm not going to answer, Ken.

Q I wanted to ask you a question. Do you think the government has the right to break the law?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Absolutely not. I don't believe anyone is above the law.

Q You have stretched this resolution for war into giving you carte blanche to do anything you want to do.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, one might make that same argument in connection with detention of American citizens, which is far more intrusive than listening into a conversation. There may be some members of Congress who might say, we never --

Q That's your interpretation. That isn't Congress' interpretation.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, I'm just giving you the analysis --

Q You're never supposed to spy on Americans.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: I'm just giving the analysis used by Justice O'Connor -- and she said clearly and unmistakenly the Congress authorized the President of the United States to detain an American citizen, even though the authorization to use force never mentions the word "detention" --

Q -- into wiretapping everybody and listening in on --

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: This is not about wiretapping everyone. This is a very concentrated, very limited program focused at gaining information about our enemy.

Q Now that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, do you expect your legal analysis to be tested in the courts?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: I'm not going to, you know, try to guess as to what's going to happen about that. We're going to continue to try to educate the American people and the American Congress about what we're doing and the basis -- why we believe that the President has the authority to engage in this kind of conduct.

Q Because there are some very smart legal minds who clearly think a law has been broken here.

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