More Impeachment Fodder.

So, today at his Press Conference, Frutex Minimus Caesar flat-out admits to breaking the law: Official transcript from the White House here.

The segment in question (bolds added for emphasis):

————
Q: “Mr. President, though — this is a direct follow up to that — the FISA law was implemented in 1978 in part because of revelations that the National Security Agency was spying domestically. What is wrong with that law if you feel you have to circumvent it and, as you just admitted, expand presidential power?”

THE PRESIDENT:” May I — if I might, you said that I have to circumvent it. There — wait a minute. That’s a — there’s something — it’s like saying, you know, you’re breaking the law. I’m not. See, that’s what you’ve got to understand. I am upholding my duty, and at the same time, doing so under the law and with the Constitution behind me. That’s just very important for you to understand.

Secondly, the FISA law was written in 1978. We’re having this discussion in 2006. It’s a different world. And FISA is still an important tool. It’s an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also — and we — look — I said, look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law? And people said, it doesn’t work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do.

And so that’s why I made the decision I made. And you know, “circumventing” is a loaded word, and I refuse to accept it, because I believe what I’m doing is legally right.”
————

Scary shit. He flat-out admits that there is a law, that it “doesn’t work” for what he wants to do, and that’s why he “made the decision.”

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, PEOPLE: HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED???

The President just admitted on national TV that he broke an existing law. Why the hell isn’t anybody doing anything?

Oh….and another thing—they could have done this legally, under a bill that was before Congress in 2002. But they opposed it:

Even as warrantless U.S. eavesdropping was being conducted, the White House opposed easing rules on the issue in 2002 to avoid public debate. The Bush administration told Congress they opposed lowering the legal standard for intercepting the phone calls of foreigners who were in the United States, even while the administration had secretly adopted a lower standard on its own.

Uncovered by a blogger, buried on the back pages of the Washington Post and the L.A. Times. That’s all the media attention it will receive, I’m sure.

What the fuck is happening to this country?

27 Replies to “More Impeachment Fodder.”

  1. Can a citizen, not a part of the congress in any way other than voting rights, start this process? Ask that it happen?

    Why are people, meaning the people who I know can do it, so very scared to bring it up?

  2. Scary. Not surprising. But scary.

    However, I don’t know that he will get away with it, particularly if he keeps trumpeting that he can essentially break any law he wants to.

    D.

  3. 1. Work very hard via donations and volunteerism in those states who have Republican Senators up for re-election this year (~33%). Get the word out about their Democrat opponents.

    2. Same goes for all the Representatives (100%).

    3. Watch the election-night goodness. Hope for at least a Democratic majority in the House since they are the body to vote to bring forth impeachment proceedings.

    4. Given that is the case, hope for a Democrat majority in the Senate. They will hold the impeachment proceedings and can remove Chimpy from office.

    If (4) doesn’t happen – at all – the shame of (3) might even cause a resignation. If (3) doesn’t happen but (1) and (2) do, he’ll be the lamest duck there ever was.

  4. I just noticed something and I might post about it tomorrow if I have time. It seems all the political posts on my flist are from the midwest. People on the coasts don’t seem so concerned.

    Is this because we’ve been in the bible belt for so long that we realize you can’t be complacent, you can’t let yourself slide, and you can’t give these fuckers an inch? It’s just sort of…weird…that my friends who aren’t in the midwest haven’t said much of anything about the current political climate.

  5. or maybe it’s that things on the coast don’t seem *quite* so bad, considering there are more liberals, etc, around there.

    (except California… I am confused if there is complaceny from the Terminator State.)

  6. That would be great, if I felt that there was actually a chance for honest electoral results. I seriously don’t. I am convinced that the whole Diebold/Florida/Ohio/Etc. thing pretty much allows the junta to subvert the will of the electorate.

    When they did it in 2000, and we didn’t storm the barricades, they learned that they can get away with it. They’re not going to stop.

  7. The people aren’t all the sheep they appear to be. I see comment after comment from people saying they fully regret voting for Bush in 2K4. This gives me hope. If things look squirrelly again in November, I sense Civil War II won’t be far behind.

  8. He’ll never resign unless conviction in an impeachment hearing is all but assured. Resignation without a conviction would be doing one thing this man is incapable of doing: admitting that he made a mistake. That, and the man has no shame. He even screwed up a well-known saying because he couldn’t say “Shame on me.”

    Former Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant was on The Al Franken Show today and made a very good point that this pretty much is a lame duck presidency. Due to all the scandals and ineptness, they have not gotten a single policy initiative implemented this year. No Social Security “reform,” none of the health care “reform” that he’s mentioned in all of his State of the Union speeches and never followed through on and no “Clear Skies” initiative (not that all these initiative stalling is a bad thing). Additionally, there are reportedly no plans to mention any new initiatives in this year’s State of the Union Address. He called it the most ineffective fifth year of a second term presidency since Grant.

  9. To play the unpopular devil’s advocate for a moment.

    The fact that the president is appearing, and has admitted to, nudging aside important laws is obviously an unpopular choice amongst this crowd.

    However, to President Bush’s credit, the idea here is catch communiqués between foreign agents bent on doing people in this country harm. All justifications aside the fact that foreign agents have already taken active steps to attack Americans (9/11) proves that there is some necessity to the eaves dropping that is being done.

    As Americans, we enjoy liberties that are unparalleled in the world. Why the simplest injustices committed will have groups like the ACLU, or some sue happy lawyer attacking the offending government party in court and on TV. This is a benefit to being an American or just being here but sometimes you have to give to get. Point in case, when the president wants the NSA to listen in on conversations between foreign agents and their brethren we need to allow this step to be taken.

    This particular step is, in my opinion, necessary to catch somebody who wants to kill me and my family because of my particular religious faith or lack there of. It sucks the government is listening in on phone calls of private citizens but we, the public expect, nay DEMAND results on this war on terror. And, the president has few choices in his expect routes of success.

    Now it is important that people like Mr. Skarka rage against the political machine for the same reason it’s important that Mr. Flynn continue to publish his shocking material. It keeps the balance in the political landscape. The President needs to be called to the carpet for his actions but don’t lose sight of the fact that he does what he does for many reasons. Some of which are important to the vast majority, such as not being blown up while shopping at the local Heb/ Wal-mart.

  10. One can hope that the dissention that is already showing itself in Republican ranks would swell up at that point and demand he do the right thing for any semblance of preservation of their party. I’m pretty stalwart Democrat, but lean fiscally Republican somewhat and peg Bush as someone who spends like a Democrat (angering fiscal Republicans) but spends on crappy things like Iraq (angering Democrats). His party would do well to disown him and rebrand him as the Fundie Party Candidate or something.

  11. It’s not a question of security vs. civil liberties. It’s a simple question of legality. It was against the law, and by his own admission, he went around that law.

    That’s a crime, plain and simple. An impeachable offense.

    Anything else is just hand-wringing justification.

  12. Gotta challenge that “spends like a Democrat” line in light of just how much pork was in the highway spending bill alone that Congress passed last year. Yeah, the Democrats aren’t exactly angels when it comes to spending, but at least they’re not complete hypocrites about it like the Republicans are. Instead of “spends like a Democrat,” the better phrase to use is “spends like a Congressman.” Once that money trough opens up, party ideology goes straight out the window.

  13. “This particular step is, in my opinion, necessary to catch somebody who wants to kill me and my family because of my particular religious faith or lack there of. It sucks the government is listening in on phone calls of private citizens but we, the public expect, nay DEMAND results on this war on terror. And, the president has few choices in his expect routes of success.”

    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” — Benjamin Franklin

    It was true then, it’s true now. You and your family have a better chance of dying from a tornado or in a traffic accident than you do perishing in a terrorist attack. There’s been a dearth of attacks on HEBs and Wal-Marts and I don’t think the administrations anti-terror measures have had a damned thing to do with that fact.

  14. No one is saying to stop spying on foreign operatives, just do it within the bounds of the law. If the law is a problem, ask Congress to change it.

    Sen. Mike DeWine (R – OH) tried to do just that in 2002 in a bill that would have lowered the standard for a FISA warrant to wiretap non-US nationals from “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion.” The White House opposed the changes at the time saying that: 1) the issue of probable cause was not an impediment to their surveillance efforts, and; 2) the proposed changes in the bill were most likely unconstitutional.

  15. No problem. The right-wing noise machine has been very successful at creating a negative stereotype of Democrats and I just try to change that stereotype whenever I can.

  16. Heavens, Gareth obviously forgot that there were bad people out there trying to do us harm. He, of course, was sunning it up on the beach in Tahiti on 9/11.

  17. You missed something.

    When the president wants the NSA to listen in on conversations between foreign agents and their bretheren we need to allow them to GO TO CONGRESS AND ASK FOR THIS POWER TO BE GIVEN. As Americans, we enjoy liberties that are unparalleled in the world…This is a benefit to being an American or just being here but sometimes you have to give to get. Point in case, when the president wants the NSA to listen in on conversations between foreign agents and their brethren we need to allow this step to be taken WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE CONSTITUTION.

    Now see how easy that was.

    No one is saying don’t do it. They are just say it to show the terrorists or rather the rest of the world that our system is better and that it works. If it can be undermined we might as well have anarchy. Then we would all have no sense of humor, not bathe and start listening to bad hardcore punk. No one wants that.

  18. Yeah, it’s not as if I could smell a combination of dust and burning oil (and bodies, I’m sure…but I tried not to think about that) from my fucking HOME or anything.

    I love people like this guy….who I’m sure was very upset, having to watch it on television and all.

  19. I just love the condescension implicit in this rhetorical tack, which comes up all the fucking time… “what you liberals don’t understand is that we’re at war!” “What you liberals don’t understand is that there are terrorists out there who want to kill us!”

    We stand here screaming at the top of our lungs, “The way the dumbass-in-chief is waging this war is dishonorable, incompetent, ineffective, and untlimately disastrous,” and what we get in return is, “Gosh, don’t you believe the terrorists are real?”

    Possibly that’s why we have strong opinions on the effectiveness of what’s supposedly being done about them. Jesus. There isn’t a thing this administration has done, in the end, that shows it should be given the benefit of the doubt on anything.

  20. I was, the other day, watching an old episode of The Prisoner. Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan) had been declared “unmutual,” and the populace of The Village preceeded to pointedly avoid his or give him the cold shoulder.

    As he put it to Number 2, “They are sheep.”

    This episode was filmed, and broadcast, in the late sixties.

    The more things change …

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