A Video of the Moment Flashback...
PLUS: Why Was Bush Admin First Ever, Reportedly, to be Rejected by FISA Court?
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005, 3:00pm PT  

Emailer Expathos sends us an interesting compilation of video clips taken from both C-SPAN and Whitehouse.gov. Here's an outake from part of it, taken from speeches in Pittsburgh and Buffalo in 2004:

BUSH: Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires --- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.

-- View the complete video here

The emailer also adds:

Wiretaps are conducted around the country every day. The FISA Court alone approves something like a half a dozen a day in highly classified national security or espionage related cases. Bush can tap up to 72 hours prior to asking permission.

The only issue here is why the president decided to go around the normal rules that govern such surveillance, why he chose to make himself above the law.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Additional info on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in response to those Bush apologists suggesting he had no time to go to the court (Rush Limbaugh told his listeners today that it could take "10 to 12 days" to get approval back from the court which frequently gives appropral to such requests in hours, if not minutes). This from an Op/Ed by Anthony Wade yesterday:

From 1979 through 2002 there were 15,264 surveillance warrants issued by the FISA court, clearly displaying that the process is quite favorable to the government seeking such wiretaps. Further supporting this is the amount of surveillance warrants which were rejected during that same 23 year period, ZERO. That is right; in a 23 year period not one request was denied.

But then Wade adds this:

From 2002 until now, only four such requests were denied.

Interesting. So from the time the act was established until 2002, nobody seeking a warrant was denied. Then, the Bush Admin was turned down four times. Why? And could that be why they simply decided to go around the FISA court?