The Question Journalists Don't Ask Bush: "Why would you lie?"

A key reality of the National Security Agency spying story is: President Bush lied. But routinely missing from media coverage is a demand to hear the truth.


Paul Hue said...

So here is what Bush is accused of, as far as I can tell (I haven't looked into this thoroughly): He told the nation that all wiretapping would involve court orders. Then he started wiretapping without court orders if one of the phone call participants was located outside the US. If this is all he's accused of, I'm not worried about it.

1. I assume (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the NSA and other federal agencies have always done this. I doubt (am I wrong?) that they did this during the cold war.

2. As far as lying, I do not expect or want my war time president to accurately explain every aspect of his war. This is a very tricky concept in a democracy (which is the only form of government where I would support a war). On the one hand "the people" ultimately decide to favor or reject the war, and need accurate information in order to do so. On the other hand, in order to win a war, the president cannot accurately inform enemies of his action. I do not have an answer to this contradiction. I do oppose the president lying in order to get my support; but if he's lying in order to trick the enemy in a war that I support, I accept and expect that.

Nadir said...

You are wrong.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power.

Bush knowingly and willfully violated this act when he ordered the NSA to conduct wiretaps on individuals without obtainng the proper warrants.

The question is "Why?" FISA warrants are notoriously easy to obtain with fewer than 10 being denied in the nearly 30 year history of the program. Secret judges issue secret warrants with a minimum of evidence. If the administration didn't have enough evidence to obtain these warrants, then arguably they shouldn't have been bugging these individuals in the first place.

The second issue is that Bush made a secret order and then lied about it to the American people. If he felt then, as he says now, that he was within constitutional limits, why lie about it? Why issue a secret order? Why not do things in the open?

The president has admitted that he committed a federal crime - a more heinous crime than Clinton's perjury by the way - and he should be prosecuted.

Nadir said...

The president could have received FISA warrants in secret. In fact, during prosecution of such cases, the court isn't even allowed to judge the evidence upon which the warrant was based because it is generally considered to be a matter of national security.

The president's actions indicate a lack of evidence in these cases. Why else would he refuse to obtain these warrants?

Nadir said...

The president lied because he knew he was committing a federal crime. Now he changes his story because he was caught in the lie.

By continuing to support this president, you consent to these totalitarian tactics, and also consent to surveillance of your own communications.

Paul Hue said...

Apparently I am only consenting to to surveillance of my communications with people in nations that harbor international terrorists.

Nadir said...

Wouldn't that include the U.S.?