You lost me: What part of Bush authorizing the surveillance of hundreds, if not thousands of people in America, WITHOUT WARRANTS, as required by the 4th Amendment, is not factual? I don't see how it's relevant that someone is publishing a book about it. It happened.
I myself am waiting for the dust to settle.
Initially, the story was about illegal eavesdropping 'authorized' by President Bush. The one aspect of this is that the story also told that members of Congress knew about it and that there was judicial oversight throughout the operation.
What I was getting at is that this is typical of MSM - they'll scream about one facet of a story without telling you about the other facets - the facets that are interlocked with the initial screaming.
And the sad part is that there are people that will look only at a headline and extrapolate an entire story from it.
Another F'ed up part of this is the timing. The NYT knew about it for a year and decided to publish about it on the same day that the sucess of the Iraqi elections should have been splashed all over the headlines.
Text from President Bush's radio speech today:
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. 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. 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. I have reauthorized this 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 and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it. Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization.
This isn't the 'Watergate' of the 21st century as much as the NYT would like it to be....
It's legality and propriety are reviewed by people that work for him. That doesn't give me a great deal of confidence. That's why we have the separation of powers doctrine.
The "activities" were wiretaps. Wiretaps without warrants are illegal. He has the FISA court for just this purpose. Gonzales approves any case going before the court, so that wouldn't be a problem, it'll get approved. In 2002 the FISC denied him something, and that's when he started these illegal taps. I don't know what it was that he was denied, being as its all very secretive, but I'll find it. He chose to ignore the legal channels. His legal counsel can tell him anything, it doesn't make it legal.