Reid: President's Latest Surveillance Scare Tactics Irresponsibly Distort Reality
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to President Bush’s letter on FISA:
“The President sadly continues to choose confrontation over negotiation, threatening to veto any extension of the Protect America Act while crying wolf about the dangers of letting it expire. These latest scare tactics represent the President at his most unreasonable, irresponsible and misleading.
“No amount of fear mongering will change the fact that our intelligence-collection capabilities have not been weakened since last week. Even the President’s own Director of National Intelligence agrees.
“But for the President, this debate isn’t about protecting America; it’s about protecting the telecommunications industry and his own Administration. He has explicitly refused to compromise on immunity for telecommunications companies even as he claimed the law’s expiration endangers Americans. I can only conclude, then, that the President would put Americans’ lives on the line to let phone companies off the hook. Democrats have different priorities.
“Congressional Democrats will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to finalize a strong law. As we do, there should be no question in anyone’s mind that U.S. intelligence agencies have the legal ability to take all actions necessary to protect the security of the American people. For anyone to suggest otherwise is wholly inaccurate.”
What Sen Reid does not say, is that the reason that Bush's priorities are to provide retroactive immunity is because doing so will help ensure that the administration's illegal behavior is never brought to light in a court of law.