Tom Daschle destroys the president's argument that the Congressional resolution authorizing him to use all necessary force again the perpetrators of 9/11 inherently provides him with cover for his illegal NSA wiretapping scheme.
How did BushCo think they could get away with this? Did they think Congressional leaders are stupid, that they have no memories of those days?
I personally know several people who make a practice of lying in bizarre ways. They tell lies about certain people to others who are intimate with those people. How can they think their lies won't be exposed? Do they think friends never talk to one another? I've pondered those questions for several years, and I've never come up with a satisfactory answer. I guess, like George W. Bush and his similarly-minded cronies, their worlds are so self-centric that they just don't consider other people, period. Their constructs are, to them, the truth -- just because they're theirs.
On the evening of Sept. 12, 2001, the White House proposed that Congress authorize the use of military force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States." Believing the scope of this language was too broad and ill defined, Congress chose instead, on Sept. 14, to authorize "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons [the president] determines planned, authorized, committed or aided" the attacks of Sept. 11. With this language, Congress denied the president the more expansive authority he sought and insisted that his authority be used specifically against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
Just before the Senate acted on this compromise resolution, the White House sought one last change. Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words "in the United States and" after "appropriate force" in the agreed-upon text. This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused.
All Americans agree that keeping our nation safe from terrorists demands aggressive and innovative tactics. This unity was reflected in the near-unanimous support for the original resolution and the Patriot Act in those harrowing days after Sept. 11. But there are right and wrong ways to defeat terrorists, and that is a distinction this administration has never seemed to accept. Instead of employing tactics that preserve Americans' freedoms and inspire the faith and confidence of the American people, the White House seems to have chosen methods that can only breed fear and suspicion.
Tags: Bush, illegal wiretapping, Congressional authorization