Thursday, January 26, 2006
Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:35:47 AM PDT
If you circumvent a law, does that mean you've broken it? I'm not a lawyer (insert Holiday Inn Express joke here), but during today's press conference, it certainly seemed to me that George Bush admitted doing just that. In a follow-up question about the domestic spying program, Bush was asked:
The FISA law was implemented in 1978 in part because of revelations that the NSA was spying domestically. What is wrong with that law that you feel you have to circumvent it and as you just admitted, expand Presidential Powers.
May I, may I, may I, if I might. You said that I have to circumvent it. Uh...there is...wait a minute...that's a...there's something..it's like saying, you know, "you're breaking the law." I mean, I'm not. See, that's what you've got to understand, I'm 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, and I looked and 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 uh, circumventing is a loaded word and I refuse to accept it because I believe what I'm doing is legally right.
A loaded word? An accurate one, anyway. Or so it seems to me. And btw, he called it an "old law." It's the current law of the land. And he broke it.