Q You kept saying "lawful." It's true the President -- there is a law that permits the President to get a warrant and wiretap. But he has not been doing that; he's been breaking the law. Al Gore said he broke the law. The ACLU is filing a suit. Why does he break the law? I mean, he has the means and the tools to do what --
MR. McCLELLAN: I reject that wholeheartedly, Helen. The legal justification has been spelled out by the Department of Justice. In terms of Al Gore's comments, I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds. It was the Clinton administration that used warrantless physical searches. An example is what they did in the case of Aldrich Ames. And it was the Deputy Attorney General under the Clinton administration that testified before Congress and said, "First, the Department of Justice believes and the case law supports that the President has inherent authority" -- inherent authority -- "to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."
This is testimony, public testimony before the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. I would also point out that a former associate Attorney General under the Clinton administration said that every President since FISA's passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the Act's terms -- under President Clinton -- and he pointed to the Deputy Attorney General's comments that I just referenced. So --
Q Then you welcome a core test on whether this is really legal or not.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there's going to be a Judiciary Committee hearing and the Attorney General has indicated he looks forward to going before the Judiciary Committee and discussing the legal justification for this. We have already spelled that legal justification out for people to look at. And he looks forward to talking to the Judiciary Committee and testifying on these matters.
Q Scott, let me just follow on the criticism of Al Gore, who, as Helen notes, called the spying program a dangerous over-reach; said that it should be looked into by a special counsel; said later that this may even be an impeachable offense. At the same time you've got Senator Hilary Clinton calling this administration one of the worst in history, comparing your Republican-controlled House to a plantation where dissenting voices are squelched. How do you respond to what seem to be --
MR. McCLELLAN: You're combining two things. Let me address the first one --
Q Right, but I mean, they're combined in a sense that they go to how the party is governing, how the President is governing --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think I just talked about Al Gore's comments and I said Al Gore's hypocrisy knows no bounds. If he is going to be the voice of the Democratic Party on national security matters, we welcome it, we look forward to the discussion. I think the American people clearly understand the importance of what we're trying to do to protect them and prevent attacks from happening. And that's why this authorization is so vital.
In terms of the comments you referenced from Senator Clinton, I think that they were out of bounds.
Q Well, what's going on here, do you think?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q I mean, where is this coming from? You've got two of the most high-profile Democrats saying these things; what do you think they're up to?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think we know one tends to like or enjoy grabbing headlines. The other one sounds like that the political season may be starting early.
Q So you think Gore is going to run again; is that -- (laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll let you figure that one out. (Laughter.)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
"Hypocisy Knows No Bounds"
Well, should we belive Scotty when he suggests that Gore's hypocrisy knows no bounds? The W, Rove and Co are experts on hypocrisy? Or, are they trying to spin their way out of this problem too? Helen Thomas rocks the house by straight up asking them why they are breaking the law. Have a gander as Scotty's underwear continues to get twisted up in a bundle: