Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dean On Bush’s Conflicting Statements on Secret Wiretap Program

Washington, DC – Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the President’s conflicting statements about his possibly illegal plan to spy on the American people:

“The Bush Administration’s secret program to spy on the American people reminds Americans of the abuse of power during the dark days of President Nixon and Vice President Agnew. Why is it that President Bush went in front of the American people and said that a wiretap ‘requires a court order,’ after having approved a wiretap program without a court order two years earlier? It’s time for the President to tell the truth. Americans deserve real answers.”

Bush Then
Bush: Wiretaps “Require a Court Order.” “Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.” [President Bush, 4/20/04, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040420-2.html#]

Bush Yesterday
Bush: I Authorized Secret Wiretap Program Without Going Through the Courts. “To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks. So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. … This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as our nation is -- for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens.” [President Bush, 12/19/05, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051219-2.html]