e_legs

Snow: I Got Your Legal Authority, I Got It Right Heeeere

In Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, International politics, Laws & Regulation, Terrorism, US Politics on June 23, 2006 at 10:07 pm

So, on top of phone and emails records, we know the Bush Administration has been monitoring financial transactions of "suspected terrorists" Aside from this being the same language they used when they claimed only international phone calls originating in the US were being intercepted, we have a legal question about this. As posed to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow earlier today:

Q Why didn't the President seek congressional authorization for the program?

MR. SNOW: He didn't need to.

Q Why?

MR. SNOW: Because, why would he need it? Under what statute would he need congressional authorization?

Q On what legal — what is your legal basis for —

MR. SNOW: The legal basis — no, the legal basis here is that you've got an executive order and furthermore, if you want to get into the legal vagaries, I will send you over to the Treasury Department attorneys who have been working this.

Beautiful. Annnnddd regarding why the Administration pressured the NY Times from disclosing the story…

MR. SNOW: You're absolutely right, I do not know the specific statute, which is why I will present it to you.

Q But, again, why go to the extraordinary effort of trying to get news media to inform people what their government is doing?

MR. SNOW: Well, I'll tell you what, does CNN disclose what it does with the financial information or personal information of the people who log onto its website? Does The New York Times? Does The L.A. Times? Your organizations all collect personal data on people who use your services. But there's a second point —

Q Do you not understand the difference between private companies and governments, sir?

I'm just waiting for another government employee to lose thousands of records after illegally downloading them onto his laptop, bringing it home, and then having it stolen from his house (recent story). Or maybe just the info can get posted on a website (printed in tomorrow's Wash Post). 

We need this to be said bluntly: The hands of the US government are not a reliable place for sensative information about its citizens to be held.

 

This is gonna be a mess, I say, a go'dang mess.

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  1. And so I’m whistling some Patriotic Tune. And a patriot I am. Because I love this country…and most of it’s inhabitants. Excluding militants, extremists, leftists, rightists, wingits, bringits, blingits, boozits, oh, and Politicians. So, as it is…is someFBI guy reading this while sitting on top of the telephone pole?

  2. Yo. That whole “executive order” business is scary. Scary I say.

    The boy-king found a spokesman who tells it like it is.

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