For the third
morning in a row
now, President Bush got in front of the cameras and accused Democrats of exposing the nation to attacks by refusing to pass the Senate's version of the intelligence bill.
This morning, Bush did his utmost
to stress the calamity of letting the Protect America Act pass (the paperwork
!) and made a direct argument that giving immunity to the telecoms for collaborating with his administration's warrantless wiretapping was a crucial national security issue. The highlights:
The American citizens must understand -- clearly understand that there still is a threat on the homeland, there's still an enemy which would like to do us harm, and that we've got to give our professionals the tools they need to be able to figure out what the enemy is up to so that we can stop it....
People say, oh, it doesn't matter if this law hasn't been renewed -- it does matter. It matters for a variety of reasons. It matters because the intelligence officials won't have tools necessary to get as much information as we possibly can to protect you. And it matters because these telephone companies that work collaboratively with us to protect the American people are afraid they're going to get sued.
And the American people have got to understand these lawsuits make it harder for us to convince people to help protect you. And so by blocking this good piece of legislation, our professionals tell me that they don't have all the tools they need to do their job.