Two - I am also getting very tired of the broken record of this adminstration trying to use/leverage 9/11 as rationale for acting the way they do. How about basing government actions on what's right and legal rather than using 9/11 as the hot button a teenage virgin continues to press on a whore that won't cum.
Scotty commits both sins repeatedly today in his press "briefing." More like an obfuscation class, if you ask me. Let's break this down a bit.
The MSPress starts with an interesting, albeit verbose, question:
Q Scott, I'd like to begin on the ongoing debate over the surveillance. James Comey, who was then Acting Attorney General, reportedly opposed the continuation of the eavesdropping program in 2004, because he felt that it needed a kind of audit after it had been in place for a couple of years. And one of the criticisms leveled at the President is that whatever powers he deemed necessary to employ after 9/11, that after a couple of years since the attacks, he never felt it was appropriate to reexamine some of these issues, bring Congress into the debate at all.
Do you think that's a fair criticism, that whatever presidential powers he may believe existed after 9/11, that it's appropriate as time moves on to reexamine the tactics employed by the administration?
MR. McCLELLAN: They are. They are carefully reviewed on a regular basis by the highest officials within the Department of Justice, by the White House Counsel's Office, by the National Security Agency. And Congress has been briefed on the intelligence activities that we're engaged in under this authorization. This is a vital tool in our efforts to save lives and prevent attacks from happening. It is very limited in nature. We are a nation that is at war. The President is the Commander-in-Chief, and after the attacks of September 11th, he made a very firm commitment to the American people that he was going to do everything within his power to prevent attacks from happening and save lives. And that's exactly what we have been doing.
Then, the reporter suggests that these supposed checks are really not checks at all, but congressional folks hauled in and informed, no matter thier opinions, or that of their constituents: which would be us, the American Taxpayers.
Q First of all, all of those checks that you mentioned are not checks; it's all within the executive branch. There's no check from another part of the government.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's in the legislative branch, as well.
Q Well, but you say you briefed members of Congress. What you did is you pulled them into a room and said, this is what's happening, now thanks and don't tell anybody. I mean, that's not --
MR. McCLELLAN: More than a dozen times on the activities conducted under this authorization.
Q But wait a minute. Even if they said it's a bad idea, what were you going to do, say, okay, well, we'll take that under advisement.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that, clearly, the American people strongly support the efforts that we're undertaking to save their lives.
Q But you don't know that, and I'm not asserting whether that's the case or not.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think there actually was a poll last week that showed more than the 60 percent of the American people support --
Now wait, one second here - didn't Scotty suggest over numerous press briefings that the W, Rove and Co. don't run their opperation based on polls? Caught ya:
Q Oh, now you embrace polls. Okay, I'll tell -- I'll note that for the record. (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: -- more than 60 percent of the American people support --
Q You may be right, but --
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me just finish, and then I'll come to you -- support the actions that the President is taking to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. That's what this President is committed to doing. This is about saving lives. We face a dangerous and determined enemy, an enemy that wants to inflict even greater damage than they did on September 11th here at home. And we've got to use every lawful tool at our disposal to help save lives. Now, the President --
Okay, stop repeating the 9/11 mantra, please! The reporter on the floor has a point. Isn't about doing what is legal as well as what is right?
Q But the question of legality is an issue here, though.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President talked about that the other day. He has clear authority under our Constitution. We provided the legal analysis to members of Congress, and that's available to you all, as well. The Justice Department has talked about the legal analysis that justifies the use of this tool to help us and --
Q Well, perhaps the judicial branch will make a determination about that.
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me finish, because this is about detecting and preventing attacks. It's very limited in nature.
Q I know that. I mean, you're asserting something that's lawful that you're not in a position to --
MR. McCLELLAN: But it's also -- you asked your question, let me respond. This is important.
Q I know, but you're --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it's important, because what we're talking about is looking at international calls involving known al Qaeda members or affiliated organizations. That's what we're talking about here. And you bet the American people, I think, want us to know what those calls are about, because those calls go directly to protecting their lives.
Q A number of members of Congress do not agree that the President has the authority to do what he did in that case.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, previous administrations have cited similar authority.
Name one Scotty. Would that be the Nixon Administration? Oh, and how many times should a reporter repeat a question before it gets an answer?
Q And they want to have hearings, and those hearings are supported by many on both sides, including the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, because they don't believe that this is within the scope of the President's authority.
MR. McCLELLAN: And what's your question?
Q And my question is, does the White House take this into account, will it try to talk to them, will it participate in the hearings?
MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, and the President has said we've briefed members of Congress on more than a dozen occasions.
Q But that's not what they're talking about.
MR. McCLELLAN: And in terms of discussions about this, the President talked about this at his end-of-the-year news conference. We shouldn't be talking about intelligence activities, particularly in a time of war, in a public way. This is a highly classified authorization --
Q Not anymore. I mean, it's public now.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it still is. It still is highly classified. The President has talked in a very limited way about the nature of this authorization and what it's designed to do, and how it's limited. And so we will continue to talk with members of Congress --
Q Will you cooperate with a congressional hearing?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- the Attorney General has been talking to additional members of Congress about this authorization, so that they do understand why this tool is so vital in our efforts to prevail in the global war on terrorism.
Q But will you cooperate with a hearing?
I've counted at least three times the asking of whether or not the Executive Branch will cooperate with some kind of Congresional Hearing - you know, real oversight, not this bull shit about "briefing" Congresional members.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I'm not going to get into talking about ruling things in or out from this podium. We'll talk with members of Congress and make sure that they're briefed and kept informed, as we have been.
Q Has the President signed any other orders that affect the daily lives of Americans, intruding on their privacy, and so forth, that are still secret?
Hmm, it does makes us wonder what else to they have hidden away from public view that screws with our Constitutionally Guarunteed Rights. I love this next question:
MR. McCLELLAN: The President believes we must act in a way that protects our liberties and save lives, and that's what we are committed to doing.
Q Does he believe in following the law --
MR. McCLELLAN: The Patriot Act is a law that meets both those commitments and it is --
Q Has he signed any other executive orders that intrude on the lives of Americans?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, if you're asking me talk about classified programs, I can't do that; you know that I'm prohibited from doing that. But --
Q But not yet leaked.
Now that you mention it, we don't know what this administration thinks about the various leaks at top levels of its own team. They refuse to comment on them.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, the President will do everything within his lawful power to save lives and prevent attacks from happening. And that's what we're doing under this NSA authorization.
Q Within the law?
MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely.
Are you buying any of what Scotty is selling? And, if so, why?