Saturday, December 17, 2005
MAN OF PRINCIPLE Here's the President on Friday:
JIM LEHRER: The New York Times story this morning that says that you authorized secret wiretaps by the National Security Agency of thousands of Americans. Is that true?And here he is on Saturday:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Jim, we do not discuss ongoing intelligence operations to protect the country, and the reason why is that there's an enemy that lurks, that would like to know exactly what we're trying to do to stop them.
We don't talk about sources and methods. Don't talk about ongoing intelligence operations.
I-- Jim, I know that people are anxious to know the details of operations, they-- people want me to comment about the veracity of the story. It's the policy of this government, just not going do it, and the reason why is is that because it would compromise our ability to protect the people.
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.President Bush--he never talks about sources and methods. Unless it's politically expedient.