this morning, thinkprogress.org is
leading with a may 30, 2006 larry king
interview transcript of dick cheney, to
point out just how deadly wrong the vice
president was about the "last-throes of
sectarian violence in iraq. . ." meme.
p e r f e c t.
i'll follow that theme, and offer analysis of
his remarks made on june 1, 2004 -- three years
ago, tomorrow -- before law enforcement officers,
in kansas city, missouri (and about two months
after major overhauls to the domestic wire-
tapping program that resulted from threats of
30-some u.s. attorneys, james comey and john
ashcroft, among them, to resign, unless that law-
less, unconstitutional program was reigned in)
[white house archived speech link]:
. . .We and our coalition partners still face serious challenges in Iraq, but our progress is steady, and no power of the enemy will stop it. In fewer than 15 months, the Iraqi people have gone from the repression they knew for decades to the verge of self-government. And they know the way forward. President Bush has outlined a five-step plan to help Iraq secure democracy and freedom. Today in Baghdad, the United Nations Special Envoy and Iraq's new Prime Minister announced the members of Iraq's new interim government. As President Bush said this morning, the interim government "brings us one step closer to realizing the dreams of millions of Iraqis -- a fully sovereign nation with a representative government that protects their rights and serves their needs."
We will hand over authority to that sovereign Iraqi government at the end of this month, help the Iraqi people establish security, continue our commitment to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, encourage more international support, especially from our allies in NATO, and move toward a national election that will bring forward the leaders of a democrat Iraq. . .
The stakes in Iraq and Afghanistan are historic, and the terrorists understand that as well as we do. Iraq will either be a peaceful, free country, or it will again be a source of violence, a haven for terror, and a danger to America and the world. America will help Iraqis persevere in this cause and will defeat the enemies of liberty and secure a free self-governing Iraq. (Applause.). . .
[ed note: now -- more importantly -- remarks on the patriot act:]
. . .And now, thanks to the Patriot Act, investigators are far better able to follow money trails and track telephone contacts, making it easier to find and break up terror cells [and spy on wholly-innocent american citizens, without a warrant].
Another problem that law enforcement faced before 9/11 involved what is called a delayed-notification search warrant. These allow law enforcement personnel, with court approval, to carry out a lawful search without tipping off suspects and giving them a chance to flee or to destroy evidence. Before September 11th, the standards for these kinds of warrants were different around the country. The Patriot Act provided a clear national standard and allows these warrants to be used effectively in terrorism cases. . .
What he [john kerry] has not shared, however, is a single example of the Patriot Act actually being abused. And those who have looked closely for abuses have found none. One of Senator Kerry's Democratic colleagues, Dianne Feinstein of California, had this to say on the topic: She said, "I have never had a single abuse of the Patriot Act reported to me. My staff e-mailed the American Civil Liberties Union and asked them for instances of actual abuse. They e-mailed back and said they had none." End quote. . .
This good law has done nothing to diminish our liberty -- it has helped us to defend our liberty. (Applause.). . .
Every morning in our briefings, the President and I are reminded that the terrorists are still with us, still active, still out there, the threat is still very real. The Patriot Act has been used effectively and responsibly. And it must be renewed in full. (Applause.). . .
Over the next four years, the President will chart the course of the war on terror and direct the effort at home to protect Americans. . .
He saw America through tragedy; he has taken the fight to the enemy; and under his leadership, our country has once again led the armies of liberation -- freeing millions of men, women and children from tyranny, and making our nation and the world more secure. . .
[the bracketed material, above reflects
my commentary on mr. cheney's remarks. . .]
well, what we only now know, courtesy james
comey, is that much of what the govern-
ment was actually doing involved wire-taps
with no warrant at all -- no delayed-notice,
in fact, no notice at all -- and no FISA-court
magistrate, or other judge reviewing any of
these requests, either in advance, or contempor-
aneously -- no, only once every 45 days, when
the whole program was up for re-authorization.
and then the vice president and the president
were prepared to go forward, WITHOUT APPROVAL.
these remarks about warrants, above were -- at
best -- shifty dis-information -- at worst,
they were outright fabrications about the
actual program alberto gonzales -- then
white house counsel -- had designed and
so, of course, we now know that the
main reason senators kerry and feinstein
could not cite any examples of abuses
under the patriot act was that very few
people were ever informed that they were
being monitored -- wiretapped and spied-upon,
by their own governement -- until f.o.i.a.
requests turned their names up, on "watch-
lists" -- college professors and legitimate
business people; gay-rights activists and
anti-war protestors, among these innocents,
whose rights were abused. . .
but now, we do know.
so -- happy third anniversary of your dis-information campaign,
there, mister vice-president! look -- just look! -- at how
much better everything is -- these nice low gas prices,
the safe, secure, and free streets of iraq's cities, the
self-governing, autonomous democracy there, the hundreds
erh -- zero other nations working there
(after the british soon withdraw) with us. . .
but most of all -- thanks for always
doing the right thing, and obtaining
warrants before you spied on us wholly
innocent american citizens, here in our
own offices, cars and bedrooms. . .
thanks, mister dick cheney!
this one's for you.