Monday, January 02, 2006

AMERICAblog: More lies from Bush about spying program

John "reviews" another piece of spin Bush put out: "When asked about John Ashcroft being reluctant to sign off on the domestic spying program, and Ashcroft's top deputy outright refusing to sign off, Bush gave this response:

Asked Sunday about internal opposition, President Bush said: 'This program has been reviewed, constantly reviewed, by people throughout my administration. And it still is reviewed.

'Not only has it been reviewed by Justice Department officials, it's been reviewed by members of the United States Congress,' he said.

For Bush to respond to a question, about administration officials opposing the domestic spying program, by saying that members of Congress 'reviewed' the program, that means Bush is saying the members of Congress looked at the program in depth, investigated it, and then gave it their seal of approval, AND that Bush would have had to kill the program if the members of Congress did not approve.

But we already know that to be untrue.

Some key members of Congress like former Senator Graham (D-FL), the former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, weren't briefed at all, so he didn't 'review' it. Other Senate leaders either only heard a quick cursory mention of the program in a longer briefing (Daschle and Reid), hardly what one would call a 'review,' or when they got their briefing they objected quite strongly (Rockefeller) - so even were he to have 'reviewed,' he didn't 'approve.'

To say that these members of Congress 'reviewed' the program is an outright lie. You don't 'review' a program by sitting in a long briefing on another topic and then suddenly someone mentions briefly that this program exists. That's not a 'review' of the program. Having your staff do their own investigation and write you a memo on the topic, a memo that asks you for an up or down decision on the program, that's a 'review.'

And for Bush to imply that Congress approved of this program is also an outright lie. Graham couldn't have approved of something he didn't know, Rockefeller clearly disapproved and told Cheney directly, and there's no evidence to suggest that either Daschle or Reid gave their blessing."


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