Listening to: "Every move you make, every breath you take, I'll be watching you..."
DECEMBER 17, 2005
SPEAKER: GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
BUSH: Good morning. As president, I took an oath to defend the
Constitution. Like most of you, I don’t understand what it says, but I
don’t have to. I’m president and I have no greater responsibility than
to protect my people, my freedom, and my way of life.
On September the 11th, 2001, my freedom and way of life came under
attack by brutal enemies who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans.
It’s hard to believe that two planes could cause the perfect demolition
of three of our nation’s best designed buildings. But never mind what
engineers and physicists are saying, we all saw it on TV. It was the
Iraqis! We’re fighting these enemies across the world, yet in this
first war of the 21st century, one of our most critical battle fronts
is the home front. That’s right, right here in America, Dick and I have
enemies who are still whining about Florida.
And since September the 11th, we’ve been on the offensive against the
terrorists plotting without our borders. I’m not sure who has our
borders, but at least the terrorists don’t have them and you can thank
me for that. One of the first actions we took to protect America after
our nation was attacked was to ask Congress to pass the Patriot Act. We
had to rush and borrow the Patriot act from some Germans. I don’t know
German, but I know from my grandfather that the Patriot Act worked for
his German clients long time ago.
The Patriot Act tore down the legal and bureaucratic wall that kept law
enforcement and intelligence authorities from sharing vital information
about terrorists threats. Me and my friends at the Federalist Society
never liked that The Bill of Rights put a wall between the government
and the people. The terrorists finally blew up that wall and the
Patriot Act allowed federal investigators to pursue terrorists with
tools they already used against other criminals.
Congress passed this law with a large, bipartisan majority, including a
vote of 98-1 in the United States Senate. Only one senator read the
original Patriot Act in German, but 98 acted like real American
patriots by not reading it at all. Since then, America’s law
enforcement personnel have used this critical law to prosecute
terrorist operatives and supporters and to break up terrorist
cells in New York, Oregon, Virginia, California, Texas and Ohio. Having
the legal system prosecute dangerous people just doesn’t work.
The Patriot Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do. It
has protected American liberty, and saved American lives. The good
people at Halliburton, Monsanto, and Dieboldt were protected from
terrorists who want to take away their freedoms and their profits. The
lives of the unborn have been saved from anti-Christian extremists who
plot to take down my government and Supreme Court as I speak. Yet, key
provisions of this law are set to expire in two weeks. The terrorist
threat to our country will not expire in two weeks. The terrorists want
to attack America again, and inflict even greater damage than they did
on September the 11th. They want to change America into a
“collectivist” dictatorship where everyone has to give up basic
freedoms like tax deductions, driving Lincoln Navigators and praying to
Jesus at a football game. I can tell you where I would be without these
basic freedoms, I wouldn’t be one of the richest presidents of
the US. The laws that protect people like me from extremists are the
same laws that protect all Americans from Osama bin
Laden and Saddam Hussein.
Congress has a responsibility to ensure that law enforcement and
intelligence officials have the tools they need to protect the American
people. The House of Representatives passed reauthorization of the
Patriot Act, yet a minority of senators filibusters to block the
renewal of the Patriot Act when it came up for a vote yesterday. These
guys want to go back to the future with their filibustering.
That decision is irresponsible, and it endangers the lives of our
citizens. The senators who are filibustering must stop their delaying
tactics, or else, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot
Act. The Constitution does not give Congress the right to delay
passing the prsesident’s laws and policies. I was a history major at
Yale and I know what I’m talking about. The President is the CEO in
charge of the great American nation, that’s why it’s called the
“executive” branch. Executive means that I’m the boss who gives orders.
Legislative means writing those executive orders into law.
In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a
single moment. To fight the war on terror, I am using authority vested
in me by Congress, including the joint authorization for use of
military force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first week after
September the 11th.
How could Congress give me complete authority? When you’re fighting a
war, you don’t have time to study history like I did, you don’t
have time to think the difference between habeus corpus and a carrot.
In times of war, you pick up the carrot and use it like a stick.
I’m also using constitutional authority vested in me as
commander-in-chief. Congress called me into perpetual, life-time
service, just like the Constitution says it can. In the weeks
following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the
National Security Agency, consistent with US law and the real, pre-1791
Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people
with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Since
the terrorists don’t have our borders, we’re playing it safe and
intercepting everything without worrying borders. Borders don’t prevent
suspicious phone calls from Liberal, Kansas to Freedom, Indiana.
Before we intercept these communications, the government must have
information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.
What could be more clear than the link between Liberal and Freedom?
It’s my job to listen in and stop them! This is a highly classified
program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to
detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our
friends, and allies. Yesterday, the existence of this secret
program was revealed in media reports after being improperly provided
to news organizations. Freedom of the press is an extremist attack on
my program for keeping America safe from enemies. As a result, our
enemies in Liberal, Kansas and Freedom, Indiana have learned
information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of
this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.
Revealing classified information is illegal for everyone except the
members of my administration, it alerts our enemies, and endangers our
country. As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that
terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists
abroad before the September the 11th attacks. And the commission
criticized our nation’s inability to uncover links between terrorists
here at home and terrorists abroad. Well, we knew about those links but
it was classified information. If we had leaked that information, the
terrorists would have gone underground and waited to attack America
after the 2004 elections. We couldn’t take the chance of being attacked
with a weak, indecisive president in office. The future safety of all
Americans depended on keeping classified information a secret, we
weren’t able let the terrorists that we were onto the danger.
Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet in the Pentagon, Nawaf
Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, communicated while they were in the
United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas, but we
didn’t know they were here until it was too late because of a border
problem. We may not have known where Nawaf and Kahlid were in the weeks
before 9/11, but thanks to classified information we knew their names
as soon as they hit the Pentagon. In fact, we knew the names of all the
9/11 hijackers, that’s how good we are at getting and keeping vital
information a secret. But we need to get better at it before some free
speech extremist blows my national security plan sky high.
The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September
the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent
with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities spelled out in
Article I, Section 8. I’m in charge of everything, including captures
of enemies on land and sea. The activities I have authorized make
it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers and their
supporters in Florida will be identified and located in time.
And the activities conducted this authorization have helped detect and
prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad. By
allowing activities to conduct authorizations, I’ve been able to
detect and prevent the possibility of attacks worse than Hiroshima from
ever happening again in the future on America’s soil. The activities I
authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Dick, Karl, Rummy
and I review them personally. Each review is
based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the
continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to
our homeland. We're a bit behind catastrophic damage to our homeland,
but Dick, Karl, Rummy and I are experts at asssessing threats to the
continuity of our government.
During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are
reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation’s top legal
officials, including the attorney general and the counsel to the
president. These are guys are my best friends. You can trust them to
approve any review of activities that help me keep and do my job. Some
of those activities include keeping
track of 9/11 conspiracy theorists and Cindy Sheehan supporters, Moms
for Murtha may be next so there’s a lot of work ahead. I have
reauthorized this internal self-review program more than 30 times since
the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as
our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups
The NSA’s activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed
by the Justice Department and NSA’s top legal officials, including
NSA’s general counsel, inspector general and the American Enterprise
Institute. As I said, they’re my friends, they’re my daddy’s friends
too, and we hand picked them for a reason, to keep our way of life safe
form all kinds of foreign and domestic terrorists.
Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this
authorization and the activities conducted under it. Just last month I
told senator Hillary Clinton that we found out Arab terrorists aren’t
the only ones who like falafel. Intelligence officials involved in
these activities also receive extensive training to ensure they perform
their duties, consistent with the letter and intent of the
authorization rather than the law. Sometimes that letter is a blank
because anything is possible and everything is classified. But if
you’re a law enforcement agent, a blank letter of authorization is
easier to understand than the Fourth Amendment. This authorization is a
vital took, I mean hook, in our war against terrorists without
borders. It is critical to saving American lives from un-American
activities right here in our in our own homeland.
The American people expect me to do everything under my power under our
laws and constitution to protect them and their civil liberties, and
that is exactly what I will continue to do so long as I am the
president of the United Corporate State of America. Thank you.