Skip to comments.A day in the life of President Bush (12/17/05): photos & transcript of today's address
Posted on 12/17/2005 1:00:51 PM PST by Wolfstar
PRESIDENTIAL NEWS OF THE DAY: The President is in Washington preparing for his address to the nation tomorrow evening.
Remember the following the next time some congress-critter or senator whines about not being briefed by the White House about something:
At yesterday's press briefing, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said that General Casey and Iraqi Ambassador Khalilzad briefed members of Congress on the elections and the political progress, as well as on the security progress in Iraq. Ambassador Khalilzad talked about how we would work with the new Iraqi government and assist them as they work to put a permanent government in place.
General Casey gave an update on the security situation, and another sign of progress was that the violence was down yesterday. McClellan said we know that the terrorists and Saddam loyalists want to continue to carry out their attacks. And we expect that violence will continue. That's why we've got to continue to work to train and equip the Iraqi security forces going forward. We are making important progress. There are still challenges ahead. At this point, though, we congratulate the Iraqi people for a great day yesterday.
And now for a little fun -- it is Christmas time, after all...
President Bush discloses iPod playlist
President George Bush yesterday discussed the contents of his iPod in greater detail with Sky News, noting various artists as he toyed with Apple's "high tech stuff." The Commander In-Chief perused his selections, listing among the The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, The Archies, Aretha Franklin, and "Dan" McLean as favored artists, among others on his playlist. One bystander quickly corrected the president, reminding him that Don, not Dan, was the artist who sang "American Pie." Bush remarked that "Bono came in and dropped his new iPod on me," comparing his older device to the lead singer of U2's iPod nano. "This is a clunker compared to the newer version," Bush said. The President failed to mention whether Bono's singing with U2 is among his selections. The music-fan-in-chief also took time to mention that his iPod "can shuffle the shuffle."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: This is the entire transcript of today's Presidential Radio Address, without question the most important such address since World War II. I have emphasized portions with bold type.
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
As President, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life. On September the 11th, 2001, our freedom and way of life came under attack by brutal enemies who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. We're fighting these enemies across the world. Yet in this first war of the 21st century, one of the most critical battlefronts is the home front. And since September the 11th, we've been on the offensive against the terrorists plotting within our borders.
One of the first actions we took to protect America after our nation was attacked was to ask Congress to pass the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act tore down the legal and bureaucratic wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence authorities from sharing vital information about terrorist threats. 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.
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. The Patriot Act has accomplished exactly what it was designed to do: it has protected American liberty and saved American lives.
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. 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 filibustered to block the renewal of the Patriot Act when it came up for a vote yesterday. That decision is irresponsible, and it endangers the lives of our citizens. The senators who are filibustering must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. 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. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in me as Commander-in-Chief.
In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.
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. As a result, our enemies 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, 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. Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, 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.
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. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.
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 authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in 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'm the President of the United States.
Q: Let me follow with one other question. Is it your position that the congressional authorization for war against al Qaeda in 2001 allows the President to take some steps to collect intelligence?
MR. McCLELLAN: I just told you why I'm not going to get into discussing ongoing intelligence activities.
Q: You mean you cannot say whether it's lawful to spy on Americans or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have a Constitution and we have laws.
Q: We're not asking for any details. We're asking you --
MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I'm making a broad statement to let you know that we --
Q: It is broad. Is it legal to spy on Americans?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have a Constitution and we have laws in place, and we follow those --
Q: You say you are abiding by the law?
MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely. And there's congressional oversight of intelligence activities, there's other oversight of intelligence activities.
Q: Why do you have to have secret orders then?
"Why do you have to have secret orders then?" A perfect example of -- ahem -- reportorial "intellect." Remember this the next time the media gets all huffy-puffy and expects us to take them seriously.
Also from the same briefing, there was this little revelation of reportorial jealousy. It seems the President and First Lady invited a number of talk radio personalities to the annual White House correspondents reception, including Neal Boortz of Atlanta, Blanquita Cullum and Laura Ingraham of Washington, Scott Hennen of Fargo, North Dakota, and others. So some doltish reporter whose first name is Les asked, "You've been attending these parties for five years, and I have since 1974. Have you ever seen so much of talk radio invited before?" With all that's going on in the world, Les is worried about this!
Pinging you to the Saturday Dose. I hope we all join the President in fury at the NYslimes, whoever leaked national security information to them, and the United States Senate for its cowardice.
oh my ;)
We are, of course, reading these words in the virtual world of the internet, so we can't literally stand as the President passes. All Americans should, however, have the same reverential respect for this great, visionary man. Is he human? Yes. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Are there things he might have done better or differently? Yes. But none of that diminishes what George W. Bush is at his core, an enormously honorable, courageous man who is trying to drain the swamp of Islamic radicalism at its source. The fact that there are Americans -- including elected leaders -- who do not wish him well in this endeavor in a post-9/11 world is mind-boggling.
The Vice President will go to Afghanistan next week for the first session of its new parliament, and also make stops in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman. (I'll bet this is the first most of us have heard that Afghanistan has elected a new parliament. While it rushes to give away national security secrets, our media can't be bothered telling us some really significant good news.)
The Vice President and his wife, Lynne, sit down to a town meeting with U.S. troops. They are flanked by 42nd Division's Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, left, and Lt. Col. James Lettko, right, after a rally for the 10th Mountain Division and the 42nd Infantry at Fort Drum, N.Y., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005.
Rocked by the news, McCain stares fixedly into space while the PRESIDENT talks with Sen. John Warner (R-VA).
Hi STARWISE. The transcript is for those people who won't have a chance to see or hear the speech in its entirety.
Top 2. My posts don't count. :-)
How many victems of a terrorist attack will have as their last thought "well, at least I know that the government wasn't listening in on my phone conversations or reading my e-mails"
How many people have to die before this country finally wakes up? How many senators are taking bribes from Al Qaeda to get them to aid the terrorists?
STARWISE, in some ways the Photo of the Day is one of the very best photos of our Dubya ever.
Thanks for the ping!
Indeed. Very well said.