Bringing LIBERTY to
Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, February 16, 2008, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning
to listen to a replay of the February 16, 2008 Ozarks Virtual
Notes and Summary of the President's Address --
"The Protect America Act"
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. At the stroke of midnight tonight, a
vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire.
Congress had the power to prevent this from happening, but chose not
How the President Differs from the American vision of
"Liberty Under God":
America's Original Foreign Policy
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is
in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political
connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s
I deem [one of] the essential principles of our
government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its
administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all
nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
America was originally a "city upon a hill" -- Christian values and charity (economic productivity)
were sent around the world. Trade created relationships. America built
rather than destroyed. America was loved and admired.
The Federal Government stopped heeding this wisdom
100 years ago. The 20th century has been a century of totalitarian
foreign intervention. America sends bombs, not assistance and
technology. America is feared and despised.
Iran, 1953 -- U.S. installs dictator who is
worse than the tyrant complained of in the Declaration of
U.S. intervenes in Soviet Invasion of
Afghanistan, funds Islamic terrorists to irritate Soviets.
Iran-Iraq, 1980's -- U.S. supports Saddam
Hussein in his war against Iran
U.S. has military bases around the world
Kuwait -- U.S. supports Arab sheik and his
wives, ignoring the rights of Kuwaiti workers.
U.S. Sanctions and Bombing against Iraq kill
hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Washington's foreign bullying causes resentment,
and increases terrorist recruiting.
We would be safer and would have no
"need" for permanent "emergency" wiretapping
if Washington D.C. would follow the Constitution and America's
The Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights
"The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by
Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to
be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Why was this important to America's Founding
Fathers? Americans today do not know.
Some people in Washington may sincerely
believe that they need to ignore the Fourth Amendment in order
to protect America from attack. Other people in Washington may
know this is not true, but the power would be useful for other
Declaration of Rights, sec. 10, (12 June 1776)
10. That general warrants, whereby
any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected
places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any
person or persons not named, or whose offence is not
particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous
and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.
Bill of Rights: Searches and Seizures by Jacob G.
Summarizing the history of the Amendment and showing
that government officials love to
"barge into people’s homes
and businesses and conduct intrusive searches of the premises
and of the persons who are unfortunate to be there at the
time. If they find any contraband, including weapons, they
seize it and take it with them. Not having to answer to any
court, they operate with omnipotent power, and their searches
and seizures ... are arbitrary and indiscriminate."
We must bind down government with the chains of the
Jefferson said. "Power tends to corrupt," as
Lord Acton said.
George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries 1:App.
The case of general warrants,
under which term all warrants not comprehended within the
description of the preceding article may be included, was
warmly contested in England about thirty or thirty-five years
ago, and after much altercation they were finally pronounced
to be illegal by the common law. The constitutional sanction
here given to the same doctrine, and the test which it affords
for trying the legality of any warrant by which a man may be
deprived of his liberty, or disturbed in the enjoyment of his
property, can not be
too highly valued by a free people.
- There is no need to discuss the details of the "Protect
America Act": we should instinctively see its dangers and
Saturday Morning Radio Address
"Liberty Under God"
|THE PRESIDENT: Good
morning. At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence
law that is helping protect our nation will expire. Congress had
the power to prevent this from happening, but chose not to.
||Timothy B. Lee, Cato adjunct
"The last time Congress overhauled FISA, after the
September 11 attacks, Pres. Bush stated that the new law
'recognizes the realities and dangers posed by the modern
terrorist. It will help us to prosecute terrorist
organizations -- and also to detect them before they strike.'
Those are the rules we'll be living under after the Protect
America Act expires this weekend. There's
no reason to think our nation will be in any more danger in 2008
than it was in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006."
|The Senate passed a
good bill that would have given our intelligence professionals the
tools they need to keep us safe. But leaders in the House of
Representatives blocked a House vote on the Senate bill, and then
left on a 10-day recess.
leaders claim that this will not affect our security. They are
wrong. Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our
government to keep you safe from terrorist attack. At midnight,
the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence
will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance
against terrorist threats abroad. This means that as terrorists
change their tactics to avoid our surveillance, we may not have
the tools we need to continue tracking them -- and we may lose a
vital lead that could prevent an attack on America.
||"Harder" simply means
that some bureaucrat will have to prepare a brief so a judge can
see if the 4th Amendment is being protected. While the bureaucrat
is typing, U.S. intelligence forces are already listening
to the phone call they want to intercept. They don't have to wait
before they can listen, they simply have to allow the Fourth
Amendment to check their efforts after they have commenced.
|In addition, Congress
has put intelligence activities at risk even when the terrorists
don't change tactics. By failing to act, Congress has created a
question about whether private sector companies who assist in our
efforts to defend you from the terrorists could be sued for doing
the right thing. Now, these companies will be increasingly
reluctant to provide this vital cooperation, because of their
uncertainty about the law and fear of being sued by class-action
Telecom companies cooperate with eavesdropping not out of the
goodness of their heart, but because (once the executive branch
has gotten the appropriate warrant) they’re legally required to
do so. That will continue to be true after the PAA expires. And in
any event, the law is pretty clear on this subject. The only “liability
protection” they really need is to follow it.
|For six months, I
urged Congress to take action to ensure this dangerous situation
did not come to pass. I even signed a two-week extension of the
existing law, because members of Congress said they would use that
time to work out their differences. The Senate used this time
productively -- and passed a good bill with a strong, bipartisan
super-majority of 68 votes. Republicans and Democrats came
together on legislation to ensure that we could effectively
monitor those seeking to harm our people. And they voted to
provide fair and just liability protection for companies that
assisted in efforts to protect America after the attacks of 9/11.
||Americans should have the right
to take phone companies to court to allow the Constitutional
process to work out a determination of telecom liability.
|The Senate sent this
bill to the House for its approval. It was clear that if given a
vote, the bill would have passed the House with a bipartisan
majority. I made every effort to work with the House to secure
passage of this law. I even offered to delay my trip to Africa if
we could come together and enact a good bill. But House leaders
refused to let the bill come to a vote. Instead, the House held
partisan votes that do nothing to keep our country safer. House
leaders chose politics over protecting the country -- and our
country is at greater risk as a result.
||There is no evidence that
America is at greater risk without this extension. The government
cannot point to a single phone call that it is missing right now.
|House leaders have no
excuse for this failure. They knew all along that this deadline
was approaching, because they set it themselves. My administration
will take every step within our power to minimize the damage
caused by the House's irresponsible behavior. Yet it is still
urgent that Congress act. The Senate has shown the way by
approving a good, bipartisan bill. The House must pass that bill
as soon as they return to Washington from their latest recess.
|At this moment,
somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning a new attack on
America. And Congress has no higher responsibility than ensuring
we have the tools to stop them.
||At this moment, terrorists are
telling children that the U.S. is an atheistic nation that kills
innocent people, and these children are being recruited as
terrorists. America needs to be once again a
Christian nation that brings tangible and spiritual aid to the
|Thank you for
White House Denials:
Five Myths About the House's Failure to Give Our Intelligence
Professionals the Tools They Need to Monitor Terrorists Effectively
Kevin Craig's platform:
Communicating with Government and Media
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make a critical difference on important issues.
John Adams once wrote that the American
Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis
began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but
"American independence," Adams wrote, "was
then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15
years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776).
Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was
signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally
ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we
shouldn't go 20
years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince
Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government
schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal
Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
The Democrat Party Radio Address:
This week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a former U.S.
Attorney who serves on the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees,
Democratic Radio Address, speaking on the "bipartisan"
"Economic stimulus package"
|"Both the House
and the Senate worked hard to pass bills to improve the Protect
America Act, an ill-advised law Congress passed in a stampede last
August. These bills strengthen the Protect America Act: for
example, both, for the first time, protect Americans from being
wiretapped without a court order outside the United States.
|"But the House
and Senate bills are not identical, and in the American
legislative process, the next step is a negotiation to resolve
differences between the two bills. And Democrats stand ready to do
that now. That is how our system has always worked. But the
President doesn't want the legislative process to work - instead
he has made an unrealistic demand that the House simply adopt the
Senate version, and at his request congressional Republicans are
preventing negotiations from moving forward.
||While a legitimate concern, the
process of reconciliation of the two versions of the bill is an
issue not as important as the overall issue of the Whitehouse's
unconstitutional foreign policy, which violates the Fourth
Amendment, needlessly kills thousands of innocent people, and
creates anti-American resentment and energizes terrorist
recruitment, making America less safe.
bicameral system of government is designed to bring broad,
bipartisan consensus to important laws. We're at the finish line.
Letting the House and the Senate complete the process would
strengthen support in Congress and among the American people, and
give the intelligence community greater legal certainty for
for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual