President Bush gave a speech this morning in which he vigorously defended the NSA program that intercepts communications between suspected international terrorists abroad and their interlocutors within our borders. He noted the carefully delineated program and the frequency with which it is reviewed and with which members of Congress have been briefed about it. He contrasted the Constitutional basis for his authority to conduct the program and the illegality of the behavior of those who leaked information about it.
He also criticized those in the Senate who seem to be playing politics with the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act.
Good job, Mr. President!
Now I’d like to see some of the legislators who were briefed about it step up to the plate.
Hat tip: Power Line.
I can no more be persuaded that the government can constitutionally take no strong measure in time of rebellion, because it can be shown that the same could not be lawfully taken in time of peace, than I can be persuaded that a particular drug is not good medicine for a sick man, because it can be shown to not be good food for a well one. Nor am I able to appreciate the danger, apprehended by the meeting, that the American people will, by means of military arrests during the rebellion, lose the right of public discussion, the liberty of speech and the press, the law of evidence, trial by jury, and Habeas corpus, throughout the indefinite peaceful future which I trust lies before them, any more than I am able to believe that a man could contract so strong an appetite for emetics during temporary illness, as to persist in feeding upon them through the remainder of his healthful life.
The real root of the debate is how serious the threat posed by al Qaeda and its allies is. President Bush takes the threat seriously. Do his critics?