I was skimming over an article about how after the terrorists attacked, the President sought broader wiretap authority from Congress to prevent future attacks but many in the Congress were trying to block that, and the President may not get the wiretap authority.
"Wait a minute..." I thought. "Something isnt right here..." Bush didnt go to Congress to seek wiretap authority after the terrorists attacked. He just started the program secretly without telling them, and after he got caught he demanded they pass a bill that says it was legal all along.
"This article has it all wrong!" I shouted. And then all over the sudden I saw the date of the article: July 30, 1996. The headline "President wants Senate to hurry with new anti-terrorism laws"
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism
"We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference.
But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.
Having just gone through a terrorist attacks at the Olympics in Atlanta, which thankfully killed no one, Clinton decided the next terrorist attack might be more successful and urged that the bill get passed immediately. The Republicans said there were some parts of the bill they disagreed with, like expanding the President's wiretapping authority.
I suspect if it were Bush he would've implied that by delaying the bill because they disagree with some parts of it, they are putting everyone in danger. Instead Clinton basically said "OK fine but you guys are about to take another vacation; so take the parts of the bill that everyone already agrees on, pass that into law; take your vacation, and then you can debate the provisions you have issues with"
Instead the Republicans said 'meh' and closed down congress, they later passed the bill, having removed the wiretapping authority.
Aside from the fact that efforts to make Clinton look weak on terror are completely wrong, and the GOP actually dragged their feet on his efforts, there is one interesting side point to all of this.
Clinton asked for an expansion of the president's wiretapping authority to track terrorists, and the Republican Congress said no. Bush didn't even ask congress, or tell them, when he began a much, much broader wiretapping program to track terrorists; and when it was leaked to the media and became obvious that Bush was breaking the law; the SAME Republicans who took would not put that program into law for Clinton suddenly claimed that the President(Bush) doesnt need a law to give him that authority, he already has it!
Is that why the Republicans refused to pass an anti-terrorism bill that expanding the president's wiretapping ability? Because they believed he already had that authority and it was thus a moot point? I dont remember them saying that to Clinton... I remember they saying something like "no this goes too far, i dont want the president to have this authority."
And so; after claiming Bush's secret illegal wiretapping program; vastly more expansive then what Clinton propose, was in fact not illegal; the Republican Congress set to work on writing a bill that gave President Bush the legal authority to continue the program; which they said was legal anyway.
Perhaps they knew the program was illegal without Congressional authority? I think so. That would explain why the bill not only said the program is now legal, but actually made it "retroactively" legal, so that Bush wouldnt get in trouble for the years before the bill passed when he was breaking the law.
That literally means that if you say Bush is a criminal because he was breaking the law when he started the program in 2002; someone can respond to you that a law passed in 2006 gave him that authority... and they would be right.
GO READ 1984! PEOPLE SHOULD BE GOING NUTS!!
Does anyone remember the War Crimes Act of 1996? The Republicans were gung-ho about passing a bill that says anyone who commits war crimes will be automatically be SENTENCED TO DEATH! WOAH!!!!!
Only, remember Bush's secret torture program? Apparently that breaks quite a few war crimes. Which means, under the Republican passed War Crimes Act.... oh shiioooot...
FEAR NOT! Bush has now asked the Republican Congress to, once again, retroactively make all the illegal acts he committed, magically legal! Thus the new torture "comprimise" bill (as in mccain/warner/graham comprimised their own and the nation's integrity) has made it so that anyone who committed any war crimes for the USA in the past few years, including torture, is exempt fro the War Crimes Act! horray!
Im beginning to think if Bush raped and killed some woman, on the street in broad daylight in front of people; Congress would quickly convene a pass a bill that not only makes rape and murder legal, but makes it retroactive so it applies to earlier that day when bush did it
MID TERM ELECTIONS CAN CHANGE ALL OF THIS