(Washington, D.C.) It seems that in 2005 the Bush administration was leaking more than a toddler into his Huggies. And if the most recent statements by George Bush are any indication, 2006 will be a year of mopping up those leaks. The most recent, the President’s clarification of the NSA not needing to get a court order for wiretaps within the United States, which seems contrary to what the President said on the 2004 campaign trail.
“There are such things as roving wiretaps,” Bush said in a 2004 Buffalo, New York campaign stop. “But when the United States government is talking about a wiretap– a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed.”
During the President’s visit to Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas, he was asked by an Associate Press reporter at how nothing has changed when the NSA is able to secure a domestic wiretap without first obtaining a court order?
“I believe,” answered Bush, “that in 2004, which was two years ago, or to be more specific 731 days ago, remember 2004 was a leap year.” The President then stopped and attempted to move on, but another reporter pressed the point of the NSA side stepping the Constitution.
Bush continued. “What I stated in 2004, the aforementioned leap year, I don’t think that I was misleading anyone as much as I was… ‘not leading’ them. And I was talking about wiretaps and the Patriotic Act, which we do need court orders for. That’s why we called it ‘patriot’. And that’s a lot different than the NSA.”
A third reporter then asked Bush if he now meant that the NSA, since it can obtain domestic wiretaps without a court order, is above the Constitution?
The President bristled. “Now, you said that, not me. Look, we’re dealing with some very special circumstances here. I’m not saying that the NSA is above the Constitution as much as…as… as …I’m saying that the terrorists are below it. See, this is not so much a matter of rights as it is altitude.”
The reporter attempted a follow up, but the President abruptly ended the impromptu press conference due to an unanticipated headache.
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