December 17, 2005

A good start...

Great speech by the President, hitting back at the scum who are leaking secret information to hurt the war, and claiming, falsely, that our NSA intercepts are illegal or are infringing civil liberties...Read it here.

...To fight the war on terror, I am using authority vested in me by Congress, including the Joint Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first week after September the 11th. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in me as Commander-in-Chief.

In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.

This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country. [So for Pete's sake start putting these idiots in jail!]

As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late. [And if we had known, stupid laws would have prevented our doing anything.]

The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad. [If we prevent attacks, then the crazies say that we are 'inventing" threats as a cover for undermining civil liberties. If we fail to prevent them they whine that "Bush promised to protect us."]

The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.

The NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general counsel and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it. Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization....[The Administration is OBVIOUSLY bending over backwards to prevent this program from endangering our liberties. But will the frauds who are always prating about civil liberties give them the slightest credit or encouragement for this? No.]

What's just insane is that, under the loony logic of the Plame affair, the news media can publish sensitive information routinely, claim protection of their "sources" ("freedom of the press, you know) then demand that the President's men be investigated and punished for leaking our country's secrets to the press (while still not asking the sacred reporters to tell who their sources are) and all the while claim that those leakers who agree with their politics are patriots motivated by the highest principles who should not be investigated...

Posted by John Weidner at December 17, 2005 10:18 AM
Weblog by John Weidner