Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It’s Hakuna Matata For The Lyin’ King

Presidential spokesman Scott “The Lyin’ King” McClellan slithered onto the floor of the White House briefing room yesterday to do his daily dance-around-the-truth for the national press corps. After dodging questions about U.S. intentions toward Iran – given the administration's threatening language of late – he fended off questions about the president’s illegal domestic spying program:

Q: Does the administration support the approach being taken by Senator DeWine on the NSA surveillance program?

McClellan: Well, we've previously talked about that. Senator DeWine has put forward some interesting ideas. We've made a commitment to work with congressional leaders on legislation that would codify into law what the President's authority is.

The President has not only authority, but the responsibility to use every available tool at our disposal to save lives and prevent attacks from happening. And the terrorist surveillance program is what you're bringing --

Q: He doesn't have the right to break the law.

McClellan: -- the terrorist surveillance program is a critical tool that helps us to detect and prevent attacks from happening in the first place. It helps us to connect the dots so that we can save lives. And it is vital in our efforts to defend the American people and the save lives. And as you've heard from people like General Hayden, our number two person in the intelligence community, it has been a successful program and it has been an important program.

Now, we have had discussions with congressional leaders -- Senator DeWine is one of them. There are a lot of interesting ideas out there. We said from the beginning that we are open to listening to ideas. The President -- the one thing the President said was that he would resist efforts if it compromised the program in any way, or undermined his authority to protect the American people. This is about protecting the American people. Now, we --

Q: He doesn't have the authority to break the law.

McClellan: -- we did make a commitment with leaders, like Senator DeWine and others, to work with them on legislation that would codify his authority into law.

Q: -- do you think that you're nearing an agreement? I think that -- I've heard that he's talking about that it would exempt the surveillance program and allow for 45 days without warrants. Is that --

McClellan: I'll let Senator DeWine talk more specifically about what he is proposing. He has talked publicly about some of those ideas. We want to continue to work with him and others, as I said, on legislation that would codify into law what the President's authority already is. And I think that you're going to be hearing more from members in a short amount of time on some of their ideas. And Senator DeWine, I understand, is coming forward with a legislative proposal soon, so I'll let him speak to that.
If you want to know why the Republican party machine is so good at controlling the language at the expense of truth, just look at how Weasel Boy handled key elements of his non-answer.

One, despite the fact that they haven’t been able to cite one specific instance of actually catching a bad guy while spying on Americans without required warrants, they stay on message and refer to it as the “terrorist surveillance program.” Kind of catchy, isn’t it?

Second, note the fervent desire – and this had been repeated by various members of the GOP ad nauseam lately – for Congress to “…codify into law what the President's authority is.” In other words, their goal is to make retroactively legal what the White House has been doing illegally. Nicely done, Scottie.

But the reporter's prevailing comment remained unanswered: “He doesn't have the right to break the law.”

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply to that.