Bush: Kiling David Before He Can Swing His Stone At Goliath

I love it when the President subjects himself to the Q & A process by reporters because, unscripted, he often reveals who he really is. Have a look at how he fumbles through a question about the possibility he is authorizing illegal wire taps on American citizens and see if you find his answer satisfactory.

Remember the fundamental question here is that if the telecommunications companies are not doing anything illegal, why would they need immunity?

Q You can get the Congress to protect telecom companies from lawsuits, but then there’s no recourse for Americans who feel that they’ve been caught up in this. I know it’s not intended to spy on Americans, but in the collection process, information about everybody gets swept up and then it gets sorted. So if Americans don’t have any recourse, are you just telling them, when it comes to their privacy, to suck it up?

THE PRESIDENT: I wouldn’t put it that way, if I were you, in public. Well, you’ve been long been long enough to — anyway, yes, I — look, there’s — people who analyze the program fully understand that America’s civil liberties are well protected. There is a constant check to make sure that our civil liberties of our citizens aren’t — you know, are treated with respect. And that’s what I want, and that’s what most — all Americans want.

Now let me talk about the phone companies. You cannot expect phone companies to participate if they feel like they’re going to be sued. I mean, it is — these people are responsible for shareholders; they’re private companies. The government said to those who have alleged to have helped us that it is in our national interests and it’s legal. It’s in our national interests because we want to know who’s calling who from overseas into America. We need to know in order to protect the people.

It was legal. And now, all of a sudden, plaintiffs attorneys, class-action plaintiffs attorneys, you know — I don’t want to try to get inside their head; I suspect they see, you know, a financial gravy train — are trying to sue these companies. First, it’s unfair. It is patently unfair. And secondly, these lawsuits create doubts amongst those who will — whose help we need.

I guess you could be relaxed about all this if you didn’t think there was a true threat to the country. I know there’s a threat to the country. And the American people expect our Congress to give the professionals the tools they need to listen to foreigners who may be calling into the United States with information that could cause us great harm. So, on the one hand, the civil liberties of our citizens are guaranteed by a lot of checks in the system, scrutinized by the United States Congress.

And secondly, I cannot emphasize to you how important it is that the Congress solve this problem. The Senate has solved the problem. And people say, would you ever compromise on the issue? The Senate bill is a compromise. And there’s enough votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Senate bill. It’s a bipartisan bill. And the House leaders need to put it on the floor, let the will of the House work. In my judgment, it happens to be the will of the people, to give the professionals the tools they need to protect the country.

Really, if what the Bush Administration is doing is completely on the up-and-up, legal, legitimate, and scrutinized by the Congress, what’s the worry? What if you or I get sued by some nut ball attorney? Would we get immunity because what they are doing is unfair? Hell no.

If the President’s wiretap program is indeed a legal and legit operation, the Telecoms would have nothing to fear and the lawsuits would be dismissed. Moreover, if, just possibly, if it might be the case that the “government” has violated our rights, don’t you think those who have done so should be held accountable?

Law suits are not patently unfair, are they? They are designed to bring people doing illegal things to justice. If you believe the President, and feel that they have not done anything illegal, will the plaintiffs and their fancy lawyers win? Not a chance. You have got to know that Telecoms have extremely good and highly paid lawyers to protect themselves from such lawsuits. That such lawsuits are unfair is outright foolish.

So, I ask the question again, do the telecoms really need such protection, or is this just another case where George Bush is advocating another subtraction of the ordinary citizens’ rights and denying her or him the proper channels to get recourse to illegal behavior? It seems that this is clearly another case where George Bush is advocating that the meek get squashed by the mighty Goliath that is the W, Rove and Co. by killing our David before he can sling his stone.

20 Responses to “Bush: Kiling David Before He Can Swing His Stone At Goliath”

  1. William Weber Says:

    Even if something is completely legal, you can get sued by some nutball attorney. Sure, you will win - eventually. In the meantime you might have to spend a substantial amount (of my! money) on defense and get through one or two whacko judges first.

    Specifically granting immunity stops that in its tracks and save $$$ (yours and my $$).

  2. Scottie Says:

    The process itself is an expensive form of punishment. If these companies cooperated with the government in good faith in the interest of national security, then the government owes them protection from financial ruin for having done so. And if you happen to find yourself acting in similar fashion in the natiional intererest, I would support granting you similar immunity as well.

  3. Windspike Says:

    Given that these agencies employ and retain full teams of high powered lawyers, I don’t think it would cost them more than they are already spending to defend themselves from such cases. I don’t follow your argument. Simply because you say it to be, doesn’t make it so. Where’s the details and the facts that back up your logic?

    Moreover, if some one, including our government tramples our rights, shouldn’t some one be held accountable for it?

  4. Lisa Says:

    No one is trampling your rights! I bet if Al Gore were doing the same thing we would A)Never hear about it or B) Hear what a good thing he’s doing to protect us

    Oh wait a minute he did use,actually he created it. Remember? Of course not like I wrote,we barley heard about it.

  5. Omnipotent Poobah Says:

    What a bunch of twaddle.

    If he’s so afraid of information coming into the country, why doesn’t he want to open mail, stop express shipping, and shut down the Internet as some of our “friends” have done. Better yet, why doesn’t he seal the border and not let any “furners” in? In fact I’m not convinced that he can’t “legally” wiretap by using FISA’s retroactive warrant provisions as they are. Until I see a clear explanation of why FISA doesn’t work, I’m not willing to concede anything - to him OR AT&T.

    As a citizen I am entitled to my privacy and no court has ever verified that what he is doing is legal or illegal. Until such time that happens it is an open question and he shouldn’t get any broadening of powers. And just for the record, if Al Gore or anyone else did it, IT IS STILL WRONG AND SHOULD BE STOPPED.

    Despite all the brave talk, I think we’ve let the terrorists win. Their goal is to get us to change our way of life and they’ve won that battle in spades. We are now subject to numerous civil rights restrictions we’ve never had because “Bring ‘Em on Guy” is afraid of a crackpot in a Pakistani cave who makes poor quality videos for a hobby.

    Spike, I’m with you. They telecoms deserve bupkiss. The real solution is to stop wiretapping so there’s no issue at all.

  6. Windspike Says:

    Do you know this for certain Lisa? Did you read my prior post on this same subject where a “Senior Administration Official” admits that they have actually tapped phone calls without a warrant that had nothing to do with terrorism? I expect not.

    That’s one wild hypothetical you have there, as in fact, Al Gore may have actually won in Y2K, but we will never know because George Bush was selected, not elected by his Daddy’s supreme court.

    Another person posted at my other location a salient comment I’ll paste here for you:

    Rights, in the abstract

    EW: ‘Are they not supposed to be protecting our rights, not violating them?’

    Vietnam, Iraq update: We had to violate your rights in order to save them.

    So, Lisa, can you take your fanciful dance around the subject elsewhere until you have a credible argument to make. You failed to change my mind here and that’s the point of dialog.

  7. Lisa Says:

    Okay OP and WS I do understand what you are saying and I do understand how you can feel that way. It’s the portrayal of it. Violating American Citizens rights and people believing they are being listened to at the drop of a hat. Why not just say what that guy said. We shouldn’t use it for the real reasons that it can be used against political enemies,not American citizens who would never even be a thought.
    And yes I do know this for certain and I refuse to provide a link because it is easy enough to find.
    And being you are not Henry Waxman I do have to provide proof because if I did you will see it was not created by Al Gore but the Clinton admin. So you see if you were Waxman I would have to perjure myself and who knows maybe I would get thrown in prison for 15 years and wasting taxpayer money to incarcerate an non-violent criminal and keep the big business of prisons,lawyers and courts in the loop of capitalism.

  8. Christopher Radulich Says:

    If you refuse to put the link in, then the assumption is your FOS.

    The only way to protect our rights is to stand up for them. Not to cower in the corner and say I am afriad please protect me.

  9. windspike Says:

    You know Lisa, if you are going to try and present an argument, you should speak in something other than hyperbole and hypotheticals. The burden of proof is on you. From near as I can tell, the W, Rove and Co has the wool pulled so down over you eyes, you can’t find your own ass to wipe after you’ve sat on the toilet. This only soils yourself and the company you keep.

    Another friend of mine puts it this way:

    Lt Col Hal Moore led the first US air cav operation in Vietnam’s IaDrang valley. He rehearsed the tone and content of every command hegave in both Spanish and English before he keyed the mic on hisradio. He knew the enemy was listening.

    It’s important to show respect for the intelligence of the audience. One way to show it is to expect them to think by not talking down to them. Or underestimating them by explaining.

    Bush fails with his audience because he doesn’t show respect. His Daddy-knows-best manner demonstrates to the world that Americans are worthy of contempt, inviting others to abuse us like he does. That, plus lack of preparation, failure to learn the English language, and failure to think of the audience for what he says before he says it….


    IQ test for terrorists

    Any terrorist caught by Bush Administration telephone intercepts is by definition too stupid to do any damage.

    Steganography? CB radio? Webcam? One-time pad? Avatars in online games? Online edited documents? Code? until 9/11, 911 was an emergency service.

    The Administration is looking for terrorist keys under the street lamp because that’s where the light is.

    Chew on that for a while and see what kind of witty and intelligent retort you can muster, Lisa. Come back with more of the same, and I’ll dish you more of the same.

    Blog on friends, blog on all.

  10. Lisa Says:

    For you Chris because I assume you dont know how to google.


    WS you didn’t dish me anything. I was merely trying to make a point of how the surveillance program is portrayed and what a loser congress we have,

    Maybe you want to read above link too where there are many more where that came from.

  11. manapp99 Says:


    From this article:

    “An international surveillance network established by the National Security Agency and British intelligence services has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, as lawmakers in the United States question whether the network, known as Echelon, could be used to monitor American citizens.
    Last week, the House Committee on Intelligence requested that the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency provide a detailed report to Congress explaining what legal standards they use to monitor the conversations, transmissions and activities of American citizens”

    Further on:

    “Barr, a former CIA analyst, is part of a growing contingent in the United States, Europe and Australia alarmed by the existence of Echelon, a computer system that monitors millions of e-mail, fax, telex and phone messages sent over satellite-based communications systems as well as terrestrial-based data communications. The system was established under what is known as the “UKUSA Agreement” after World War II and includes the security agencies of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

    Oh yeah, and the date of the article:

    May 27, 1999

    Lisa is correct. Bill, AL and CO were busy spying on Americans.

  12. manapp99 Says:

    As far as imunity goes, the Telecoms will get it as soon as Pelosi allows the Senate bi-partisan version to come up for a vote. This is a no brainer. The Telecoms were just doing what the feds requested of them and were told that the actions were legal because they are. If the groups suing think they have a case it would be against the feds. The thing is that the lawyers being the greedy scum suckers they are want to go after the companies as the financial burden will hurt them more and they would be more willing to settle rather than go to trial. This is really all about “big law” and getting their greedy grubby hands on any money they can steal. National security comes second.

    One other thing. Is there anyone suing the telecoms that is alleging that they personally have been illegally spyed on?

  13. Bring It On! National News » Cal State Quaking Over Quaker Says:

    […] manapp99: As far as imunity goes, the Telecoms will get it as soon as Pelosi allows the Senate bi-partisan version to… […]

  14. Omnipotent Poobah Says:

    I read Lisa’s article, and that is pretty much the way I remember it as well except I also seem to remember restrictions being placed on it because of the hubbub (however, that’s my memory, so take it as you wish). I don’t think it was underreported, I knew about it as did many of my friends.

    All the same, I thought it was wrong at the time. I wrote letters to my representatives and to the WH to protest. I think it is wrong now. I don’t care who endorsed it or who carried it out.

    If you’re going to wiretap GET A WARRANT. There are procedures in place to do that and that is what I expect my government to do.

  15. manapp99 Says:

    OP, how do you feel about the data mining part of the wire tapping issue? Listening in on all conversations and e-mails electronically and pulling out key words?
    Do you feel this rises to the level of needing a warrant? Wouldn’t having to go through the rigors of obtaining a warrant effectively kill this program?

  16. Lisa Says:

    Did you read how the NY Times defended Echelon sayong it was neccesary and now it’s illegal. That damn right wing media always taking sides.

  17. windspike Says:

    Nope Lisa. If you expect us to read the same article as you, it is customary to provide the link.

  18. William Weber Says:

    Windspike, on February 29th, 2008 at 5:23 pm Said:

    “Given that these agencies employ and retain full teams of high powered lawyers, I don’t think it would cost them more than they are already spending to defend themselves from such cases. I don’t follow your argument. Simply because you say it to be, doesn’t make it so. Where’s the details and the facts that back up your logic”

    Where is your evidence that these companies retain all these high powered lawyers?

  19. William Weber Says:

    “If you’re going to wiretap GET A WARRANT. There are procedures in place to do that and that is what I expect my government to do.”

    While I agree, in principle, it is important to note that these days a cell phone number or internet address can be used a few times and thrown away. By the time a warrant is obtained, it is useless.

    I would be interested in hearing suggestions on acceptable means of surveillance that perserves our privacy but still lets us track down potential terrorists. Or do we just have to take the occasional body blow?

  20. windspike Says:

    William, name one big time business doesn’t retain a team of high priced lawyers? Small businesses often keep legal help on retainer.

    Obviously, you don’t work for big business otherwise you wouldn’t need the proof. You would know. Here’s some evidence if you are so inclined:

    Lawyers for AT & T accidentally released sensitive information while defending a lawsuit that accuses the company of facilitating a government wiretapping program, CNET News.com has learned.

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