Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday: I can't talk about it; Saturday: I absolutely did it

Guess W's marching orders changed a bit overnight:In Speech, Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying - New York Times. et al. have turned on a dime. Must be big stakes on this one.

On Friday, with Jim Lehrer on PBS, this was Bush's response to questions on domestic eavesdropping:
As recently as Friday, when he was interviewed by Jim Lehrer of PBS, Mr. Bush refused to confirm the report the previous evening in The New York Times that in 2002 he authorized the domestic spying operation by the security agency, which is usually barred from intercepting domestic communications. While not denying the report, he called it "speculation" and said he did not "talk about ongoing intelligence operations."
Sorry gang, with that wild eyed look I have, I'll tell the nation I can't talk about it. So you'd think he'd feel sheepish when the next day he's in the Oval Office making a no holds barred speech about it? Once again, they've been caught with their hands in the constitutional cookie jar and they're coming out with guns blazing with the usual accusations against those who refuse to condone such blatantly suspicious actions by Bush:
"In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment," Mr. Bush said forcefully from behind a lectern in the Roosevelt Room, next to the Oval Office. The White House invited cameras in, guaranteeing television coverage.

He said the Senate's action "endangers the lives of our citizens," and added that "the terrorist threat to our country will not expire in two weeks," a reference to the approaching deadline of Dec. 31, when critical provisions of the current law will end. His statement came just a day before he is scheduled to make a rare Oval Office address to the nation, at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, celebrating the Iraqi elections and describing what his press secretary on Saturday called the "path forward."
Senators want to risk American lives? Is that it? Come on. And is anyone reassured by Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers reviewing the eavesdropping program every 45 days? Looking forward to seeing these guys wiggle over the coming months on this one. Arlen Specter has promised hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee on this as a priority in January, undoubtedly why they're turning up the heat right now.