Monday, December 19, 2005

Pres. Bush Press Conference (12/19/2005)

Observations written while watching this...feel free to add, disagree, whatever. Will make more sense after you've watched the 55-minute press conference.

He has the unmitigated gall of referring for support on domestic spying to the 9/11 commission he fought tooth and nail, and which has given his admin a horrible set of "grades" with all members of the commission, GOP and Dem alike, appalled by the GOP admin and Congress's lack of progress over four years later.

How do we know that this "program" has worked, all aspects of this issue aside (ie, that we didn't need to go around FISA)?

As Allen said on Thornblog in a different context, "Trust me" ain't enough. Surely that applies here -- where are the true conservatives?

(Interpolation:) One thing I actually welcome is that those who signed on to this admin's bullshit are being put in a very good position, actually, if they grab the opportunity. They can say, "Well, we voted for the Patriot Act and the Iraq War out of understandable fear. We were wrong; we learn from our mistakes, unlike the President. And 9/11 does not excuse any subsequent act by the executive."

Furthermore, it ought to be clear by now that not having the balls to stand up for what you believe ties you to your worst-nightmare enemy. Thus, it's best to stand up earlier instead of having to apologize later. If you got duped, say it. Loudly. Accuse the admin of lying to you and make your case. Think that won't get press? Requires courage, of course.

I hope that Democrats (and Republicans) of integrity will actually stand up against this crap, instead of cowering behind this criminal's (it's official now) bullying.

The horror over this leak (domestic spying), compared with the total lack of care about the Plame leak is so hypocritical it's shocking. There's apparently a leak investigation going on re: domestic spying. It's amazing how the admin can comment on ongoing investigations ("a shameful act") when it suits them. Did anyone ask about that? No.

How dare this criminal say in a press conference that discussing this helps the enemy! He quickly threw in a conciliatory line, but the treason charge is clear. The door is wide open for total executive power.

Interesting parapraxis calling Osama Bin Laden "Saddam."

Bush dodges the key question that someone finally asked: Why bother skipping FISA regs, especially when they don't prevent any action? (If anything, FISA is a joke as far as a check or balance goes.) That was one good question -- but you only get one shot in these widely separated press conferences.

Help me out: Is FISA only for long-term monitoring, as Bush claims? Is that at all relevant, whatever the case?

Note the charm offensive is still in full flight, and he does it quite badly, unlike Reagan or Clinton. Much self-effacing, folksy humor. About as resonant as a Disney ride; about as believable as an animatronic puppet. How many times can he say, "I appreciate that" after a question? Amazingly transparent.

We still get a "let me finish" every so often. He don't like follow-ups.

He's a typical sadist -- he pounds on people, but is most sensitive about himself. It "hurts" him that people say "Bush doesn't care about African-Americans." Awwwwww. What a total weakling. The narcissism makes you want to vomit. And the jokes, a la "where are the WMDs" at the Press Club gala, on oversight and executive orders (re: multi-part questions) are just appalling. Almost as much as the laughing responses from the sheep who pass for the WH press corps.

It ain't funny, pals, it's our fucking Constitution -- what's left of it.

This man is just psychologically unfit to be President. The fact that there are rules about multi-part questions is in itself troubling. If you're not going to have many press conferences, then you have to handle multi-part questions. Can't take the heat? Get out of the kitchen.

In any event, sorry, I don't need patronizing niceness now, but I bet a lot of WH stenographer/"journalists" do. "Wow, Bush isn't being a total asshole! He's a new man!" Puh-leeze. Some of these stenographers are so cloyingly submissive it makes me want to retch. Some people like being submissive to sadists, as Sylvia Plath famously pointed out.

How is it that we here on cyberpols, with jobs or law school and wives and husbands and kids and lives, are able to get up to speed on FISA in a day, but these morons in the press can't fucking figure it out? Not one fucking asshole stenographer brought up the point that THERE IS NO DELAY in FISA. No one challenged the central lie here.

Hey, maybe it's possible that there's something we all don't know -- so tell us! What is the weakness of FISA, given that speed of response is not at issue at all? Surely answering that question doesn't aid or abet the enemy.

Total fucking losers. No one challenged his silly statement that talking about changing FISA openly would have tipped off terrorists. Am I supposed to believe that terrorists don't assume that they're always under surveillance? What fucking difference would it make, strategically or tactically? None that I can see -- please enlighten me if you disagree. Maybe I'm wrong.

Do members of Congress get exactly the same info that Bush gets to see? No. Did anyone ask or challenge that "meme"? No.

Did anyone ask about how the IWR was based only upon WMDs and connections to al-Qaeda, and that these two rationales were false -- and demonstrably so at the time? No.

He talks about the unacceptability of secret prisons and torture -- in Iraq. Did anyone ask about our secret prisons, torture, etc.? No.

Amazing: he talks about the rule of law, and its importance -- in Iraq. Does anyone ask him about his abrogation of same here, re: FISA? Yes, actually. Answer was the same bullshit: it's war! It's incredible -- Saddam deserves a trial rather than quick death because of the larger goal of democracy, according to Bush, but we can go around FISA. "Briefing Congress" isn't enough, whatever that consisted of.

Excellent question about permanent "unchecked executive power," given a permanent war on terror. He got pissed off, Bush did -- "You're not listening to me" (near quote). No follow-up allowed, but Bush strongly rejects dictatorship. That's nice to know.

No answer to troop-level question; no estimate at all. They cut the mikes on follow-ups, by the way, so you have to intuit from Bush's responses. Total asshole statement slipped past the new niceness re: troop levels: "Nice try. End of your try." There were more laughs. Motherfuckers.

Patriot Act = "connecting the dots" better than pre-9/11 = "the NSA problem." Any follow-up on that three-way equation? Phone call intercepts -- content unknown ("who knows what they were talking about?") -- pre-9/11 from two later perps somehow prove that we can ditch FISA? What about the fact that more info means, as someone mentioned on DN! today, that if preventing terror is like finding a needle in a haystack, then simply collecting more information, unconstitutionally or not, is like adding more hay? Of course, FISA has jack to do with "slowness" -- and is there any follow-up on that? None.

Underneath the new niceness, the clear attack on the press continues -- UBL got a new phone because of a leak and the press. Then, 3,000 people died. Uh-huh; that's what happened. So, don't ask, and I won't tell, and just trust me. Why would the average American not tolerate this when purchasing a computer or car, but somehow it flies here?

"Action Jackson -- got him a new job and everything." Jesus Christ. Bush is a bully and not all there, clearly. I'm serious. He's got typical dry-drunk anger issues. Being born again doesn't change alcoholism, a somatic and psychological disorder, which I don't think in and of itself disqualifies anyone from being president, by the way. As long as it's been treated. It hasn't with Bushie-boy.

Appalling press conference on (almost) all sides. It's so corrupt, the entire system. Very depressing.

7 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

In general, a disappointing performance by the press corpse. transcript here. They basically let him off the hook with regard to his "speed" defense - that he needed to circumvent FISA in order to act quicker than the terrorists.

QUESTION: But preventing is one thing. And you say the FISA laws essentially don't work because of the speed in monitoring calls overseas.

BUSH: I say we use the FISA courts to monitor calls. It's a very important tool and we do use it. I just wanted to make sure we've got all tools at our disposal.

This is an enemy which is quick and it's lethal. And sometimes we have to move very, very quickly. But if there is a need based upon evidence, we will take that evidence to a court in order to be able to monitor calls within the United States."


Unfortunately noone followed up with Para. 1805 of the FISA statute.

"[The AG] may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance if a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title is informed by the Attorney General or his designee at the time of such authorization that the decision has been made to employ emergency electronic surveillance and if an application in accordance with this subchapter is made to that judge as soon as practicable, but not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance."

FISA already provided for retroactive application for a warrant. Bush is bullshitting here, and he got away with it.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Doug, had to laugh because we saw much of the same - I didn't see your comments because I hadn't refreshed my page!

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:33:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

I made that point about the 72 hours yesterday. I couldn't believe that it was given a total pass by MSM. The fact that an emergency measure exists proves conclusively that the only reason this was secret was to protect the identities of those who were being spied on. Clearly John Kerry and other democratic leaders were among those who had their 4th Ammd. rights trampled upon. We'll find out who's on the list. When we do there will be a real Constitutional crisis.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

It seems the only people we can trust to read the law are the bloggers. This fellow even got the message out on O'Reilly!

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Funny -- I was reposting this as you were commenting! Overlap is OK; conclusions independently arrived at are all the more forceful.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And now I see your comment on the same! :)

Monday, December 19, 2005 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Some interviews to check out:

Gonzales repeats the "speedo" defense, which we've already flattened here, as well as claiming that Congress' Afghan war resolution gave Bush the authority to spy on Americans! Side note: marvel at the gentleness with which Couric fellates him.

Gregory pushes Fiengold but his rebuttal of Gonzales is rock-solid. Very impressive smackdown of both Gonzales' points.
Mentions the 72 hours as well.

Monday, December 19, 2005 5:29:00 PM  

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