GEORGE W. BUSH: "There ought to be limits to freedom."
---Reaction to a Bush parody Web site, May 1999
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
---Franklin, Motto of Franklin's Historical Review, 1759
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “It is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.”
---Letter from Paris to Samuel Cooper, 1777
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
---As told by James Madison, Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, September 17, 1787
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: ‘This is my country.’”
---Letter to David Hartley, December 4, 1789
JOHN ADAMS: “Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.”
--- “Novanglus,” Boston Gazette, February 6, 1775
JOHN ADAMS: “We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.”
---Inaugural Address, March 4, 1797
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
---Letter to Archibald Stuart, December 23,1791
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
---Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, April 4, 1819
JAMES MADISON: “Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
---Letter to Jefferson, May 13, 1798
JAMES MADISON: “The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defence against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers from abroad.
---“Political Reflections,” February 23, 1799
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The experience of past ages may inform us that when the circumstances of a people render them distressed, their rulers generally recur to severe, cruel, and oppressive measures. Instead of endeavoring to establish their authority in the affection of their subjects, they think they have no security but in their fear. They do not aim at gaining their fidelity and obedience by making them flourishing, prosperous, and happy, but by rendering them abject and dispirited. They think it necessary to intimidate and awe them to make every accession to their own power, and to impair the people's as much as possible.”
--- “The Farmer Refuted,” February 5, 1775
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “One great engine to affect this in America would be a large standing army, maintained out of our own pockets, to be at the devotion of our oppressors. This would be introduced under pretext of defending us, but, in fact, to make our bondage and misery complete.”
--- “The Farmer Refuted,” February 5, 1775
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “History teaches that among the men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number had begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.”
---Hamilton, Federalist No. 79, 1788
SAMUEL ADAMS: “In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society to renounce their essential natural rights or the means of preserving those rights, when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”
---“The Rights of the Colonists,” Presented at Boston Town Meeting, November 20, 1772
THOMAS PAINE: "Ye that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth!"
---Common Sense, 1776
The Bill of Rights
Without the inclusion of the Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments of the Constitution, there would have been no Constitution in 1789 and quite likely there would have been no national union of United States.
I. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of the Press
GEORGE W. BUSH: "It's important for the writers of the presidential daily brief to feel comfortable that the documents will never be politicized and/or unnecessarily exposed for public purview."
---Press Conference, October 28, 2003
GEORGE W. BUSH: "This is a town of -- where a lot of people leak. And I've constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly leaks of classified information."
---October 7, 2003
SCOTT McCLELLAN: "The President has made it very clear that the leaking of classified information is a serious matter, and he takes it very seriously."
---White House Press Briefing, October 7, 2003
SCOTT McCLELLAN (to reporters aboard Air Force One): "Now, when we land today there are certain things that we may ask you not to report, that you may see."
---January 22, 2004
"The Department of Homeland Security is requiring all of its 180,000 employees and others outside the federal government to sign binding non-disclosure agreements covering unclassified information. Breaking the agreement could mean loss of job, stiff fines and imprisonment." [emphasis added]
---Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, November 29, 2004
GEORGE W. BUSH: “The disclosure of this program is disgraceful. . . . We're at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America.”
--- June 27, 2006
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Printers are educated in the belief that when men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; and that when truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.
--- Apology for Printers, 1731
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
--- Apology for Printers, 1731
JOHN ADAMS: “Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom whatever can be warranted by the laws of our country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.”
---“A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,” 1765
THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers. . . . [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper."
---Letter to G. K. van Hogendorp, October 13, 1785
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
---Letter to Dr. James Currie, January 28, 1786
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Printers shall be liable to legal prosecution for printing and publishing false facts injurious to the party prosecuting: but they shall be under no other restraint.”
---Draft of a Charter of Rights [for France], 1789
THOMAS JEFFERSON: "To preserve the freedom of the human mind . . . and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement."
---Letter to William Green Munford, June 18,1799
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Our first object should therefore be to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found is freedom of the press. It is therefore the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”
---Letter to John Tyler, June 28, 1804
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “To watch the progress of such endeavors is the office of a free press. To give us early alarm and put us on our guard against encroachments of power. This then is a right of utmost importance, one for which, instead of yielding it up, we ought rather to spill our blood.”
---1803, quoted by Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, p. 670
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The Liberty of the press consists in the right to publish with impunity truth with good motives for justifiable ends, though reflecting on government, magistracy, or individuals.”
---Propositions on the Law of Libel, 1804
Dissent & Freedom of Speech
GEORGE W. BUSH: “If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to have gag orders."
---- St. Louis; October 18, 2000
ARI FLEISCHER (Presidential Spokesman): “I'm aware of the press reports about what he [Bill Maher] said. . . . They're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.”
---Press Conference, September 26, 2001
JOHN ASHCROFT (Attorney General): "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. . . . They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends.”
---December 7, 2001
GEORGE W. BUSH: “As you know, these are open forums, you're able to come and listen to what I have to say.”
---Oct. 28, 2003, Washington, D.C.
GEORGE W. BUSH: “I love freedom of speech.”
---Said in reference to a protest by Green Party member Bob Brown during his address to the Australian Parliament as Brown was ordered to leave the parliament. October 23, 2003
DONALD RUMSFELD: "One thing appears reasonably certain, and that's that those who make allegations of a culture of deception, of intimidation or cover-up need to be extremely careful about such accusations."
---Department of Defense Town Hall Meeting, May 11, 2004
GEORGE W. BUSH: “Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule. That was three questions. “
---News conference, November 4, 2004
GEORGE W. BUSH: “Again, he violated the one-question rule right off the bat. Obviously, you didn't listen to the will of the people.”
---News conference (apparently joking), November 4, 2004
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: "In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
---Silence Dogood Papers, No. 8, 1722
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: "Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech, which is the right of every man.”
---Silence Dogood Papers, No. 8, 1722
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Abuses of the freedom of speech ought to be repressed, but to whom are we to commit the power of doing it?”
---”On Freedon of Speech and the Press,” Pennsylvania Gazette, November 1737
GEORGE WASHINGTON: “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. “
---Address to officers of the Army, March 15, 1783
JOHN ADAMS: “Government is a plain, simple, intelligent thing, founded in nature and reason, quite comprehensible by common sense. . . . The source of our suffering has been our timidity. We have been afraid to think. . . . Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. . . . Let us read and recollect and impress upon our souls the views and ends of our more immediate forefathers.”
---“A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” 1765
THOMAS JEFFERSON: "Truth between candid minds can never do harm."
---Letter to John Adams, July 17, 1791
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “A confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism---free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence.”
---The Kentucky Resolution, November 16, 1798
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Differences of opinion lead to inquiry and inquiry to truth; and that I am sure is the ultimate and sincere object of us both. We both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution not to cherish its exercise, even where in opposition to ourselves.”
---Letter to P. H. Wendover, Marcy 13, 1815
THOMAS JEFFERSON: "In every country where man is free to think and to speak, differences of opinion will arise from difference of perception and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted, as in this happy country, to purify themselves by free discussion, are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene."
---Letter to Benjamin Waring, March 23, 1801
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.”
---Letter to John Adams, August 1, 1816
THOMAS JEFFERSON: "I am myself an empiric in natural philosophy, suffering my faith to go no further than my facts. I am pleased, however, to see the efforts of hypothetical speculation, because by the collisions of different hypotheses, truth may be elicited and science advanced in the end."
---Letter to George F. Hopkins, September 5, 1822
THOMAS PAINE: “You will do me the justice to remember that I have always supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right makes a slave of himself to present opinion because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.”
--- The Age of Reason, 1795
Spying on Churches and Political Groups
“The US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, was yesterday reported to be ready to relax restrictions on the FBI's powers to spy on religious and church-based political organizations. His proposal, leaked to the New York Times, would loosen limits on the FBI's surveillance powers, imposed in the 1970s after the death of its founder J. Edgar Hoover.
“The plan has caused outrage within the FBI itself with agents expected to act upon new surveillance powers describing themselves as 'very, very angry'.
“The spying, wiretapping and surveillance campaign unleashed by Hoover against church and political groups was called 'Cointelpro', and was aimed mainly at the movement behind civil rights activist Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers, the anti-Vietnam war movement and, on the other wing, the Ku Klux Klan.”
“When the system was revealed, upon Hoover's death, restrictions were put on the security bureau, in the form of two sets of regulations pertaining to foreign-based and domestic groups. The rules forbade FBI agents from sending undercover agents into churches, synagogues or mosques unless they found 'probable cause or evidence' that someone in them had broken the law.”
---The Observer, December 2, 2001
V. Provisions concerning prosecution
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
“The Bush Administration sought the power to suspend all suspects' rights in the most extreme example of its squeeze on civil liberties since September 11. According to a draft of the anti-terrorism Bill which was published yesterday, John Ashcroft, the Attorney-General, initially wanted to do away with the fundamental legal tenet of habeas corpus for terrorist suspects.”
---The Times of London, December 3, 2001
HAMDI V. RUMSFELD [Argued April 28, 2004--Decided June 28, 2004]
"Petitioner, a presumed American citizen, has been imprisoned without charge or hearing in the Norfolk and Charleston Naval Brigs for more than two years, on the allegation that he is an enemy combatant who bore arms against his country for the Taliban. His father claims to the contrary, that he is an inexperienced aid worker caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. . . . This case brings into conflict the competing demands of national security and our citizens’ constitutional right to personal liberty. . . . The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive."
---Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected, I deem [among] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [among] those which ought to shape its administration.”
---First Inaugural Address, 1801
ALEXANDER HAMILTON “We might soon expect the martial law, universally prevalent to the abolition of trials by juries, the Habeas Corpus act, and every other bulwark of personal safety, in order to overawe the honest assertors of their country's cause. A numerous train of court dependents would be created and supported at our expense. The value of all our possessions, by a complication of extortive measures, would be gradually depreciated till it became a mere shadow.”
--- “The Farmer Refuted,” February 5, 1775
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The observations of the judicious Blackstone, in reference to the latter, are well worthy of recital: ‘To bereave a man of life,’ says he, ‘or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore A MORE DANGEROUS ENGINE of arbitrary government.' And as a remedy for this fatal evil he is everywhere peculiarly emphatical in his encomiums on the habeas-corpus act, which in one place he calls ‘the BULWARK of the British Constitution.'’'
---Federalist No. 84, 1778
VI. Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Right to a Fair Trial for Enemy Combatants
GEORGE W. BUSH: “The only thing I know for certain is that they are bad people.”
---To British PM Tony Blair on the British detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. without judicial process, July 18, 2003
JOHN ADAMS --- [In 1770, with British Troops patrolling the streets of Boston and arbitrary Colonial courts set up to enforce the hated British Townsend and Stamp Acts, a mob of protesters attacked a squadron of nine “lobsterback” soldiers, whereupon the British redcoats fired into the attackers, killing five, in what was to be known as the “Boston Massacre.” Although John Adams was a fierce patriot fighting for independence from the Crown, he was also an ardent believer in the rule of law and right of every accused to a fair and open trial, even occupying British soldiers. Contrary to his own revolutionary passions, his philosophical integrity demanded that he accept the politically unpopular duty of defending the redcoat soldiers who were accused of murder. Pleading justifiable self-defense, he won acquittals or reduced manslaughter charges for all nine of the enemy combatants.]
David McCullough: “. . . Adams accepted, firm in the belief, as he said, that no man in a free country should be denied the right to counsel and a fair trial, and convinced, on principle, that the case was of utmost importance. As a lawyer, his duty was clear.”
---John Adams, pp. 66-68
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
--- Letter to Thomas Paine, July 11, 1789
THOMAS PAINE: “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
--- “Dissertation on First Principles of Government,” 1791
GEORGE W. BUSH: “Eventually, these people will have trials and they will have counsel and they will be represented in a court of law.”
---In reference to prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, 2006
DICK CHENEY: “I think the way to look at what the two of them said, they both emphasized the importance that you need to have the capability to imprison detainees that we capture during the course of the war on terror. They both emphasized that.”
----To reporter Sean Hannity on the President’s plans for the prison at Guantanamo Bay, June 14, 2005
DICK CHENEY: “The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people. I mean, these are terrorists for the most part. These are people that were captured in the battlefield of Afghanistan or rounded up as part of the Al Qaeda network. We've already screened the detainees there and released a number, sent them back to their home countries. But what's left is hard core.”
---On Fox News, June 14, 2005
THOMAS JEFFERSON: “No person shall be restrained of his liberty but by regular process from a court of justice, authorized by a general law. . . . On complaint of an unlawful imprisonment to any judge whatsoever, he shall have the prisoner immediately brought before him and shall discharge him if his imprisonment be unlawful. The officer in whose custody the prisoner is shall obey the order of the judge, and both judge and officer shall be responsible civilly and criminally for a failure of duty herein.”
---Draft of a Charter of Rights [for France], 1789
ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.”
---“Publius,” October 26, 1778
THOMAS PAINE: “An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws.”
---Dissertation on First Principles of Government, July 1795
IV. Right of search and seizure regulated
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.
Warrantless Wiretaps v. FISA
GEORGE W. BUSH: “Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. 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.”
---Information Sharing, Patriot Act Vital to Homeland Security" speech at Kleinshans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, April 20, 2004
GEORGE W. BUSH: “And after September the 11th, the United States Congress also granted me additional authority to use military force against al Qaeda.” . . .
“To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks. . . .
“So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. This program is carefully reviewed approximately every 45 days to ensure it is being used properly. Leaders in the United States Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this program. And it has been effective in disrupting the enemy, while safeguarding our civil liberties. . . .
“I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as our nation is -- for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens. . . .
“The terrorists want to strike America again, and they hope to inflict even greater damage than they did on September the 11th. Congress has a responsibility to give our law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to protect the American people. The senators who are filibustering the Patriot Act must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment. “
Q: “Why did you skip the basic safeguard of asking courts for permission for these intercepts?”
GEORGE W. BUSH: “First of all, I -- right after September the 11th, I knew we were fighting a different kind of war. . . . And the people responsible for helping us protect and defend came forth with the current program, because it enables us to move faster and quicker. And that's important. We've got to be fast on our feet, quick to detect and prevent. . . .
“We use FISA still -- you're referring to the FISA court in your question -- of course, we use FISAs. But FISA is for long-term monitoring. What is needed in order to protect the American people is the ability to move quickly to detect.
“Now, having suggested this idea, I then, obviously, went to the question, is it legal to do so? I am -- I swore to uphold the laws. Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is, absolutely. As I mentioned in my remarks, the legal authority is derived from the Constitution, as well as the authorization of force by the United States Congress.”
---White House Press Conference, December 19, 2005
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] allows the President to seek a warrant up to 3 days AFTER initiating the wiretap.The President never sought any such authority after the fact for this program.
ALBERTO GONZALES: “The President confirmed the existence of a highly classified program on Saturday. The program remains highly classified; there are many operational aspects of the program that have still not been disclosed and we want to protect that because those aspects of the program are very, very important to protect the national security of this country. . . . . In terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance . . . unless there is somehow . . . unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position . . . is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence.”
---December 19, 2005
Q: “Mr. President, according to FISA's own records, it's received nearly 19,000 requests for wiretaps or search warrants since 1979, rejected just five of them. It also operates in secret, so security shouldn't be a concern, and it can be applied retroactively. Given such a powerful tool of law enforcement is at your disposal, sir, why did you see fit to sidetrack that process?”
GEORGE W. BUSH: “This is a different -- a different era, a different war, Stretch. So what we're -- people are changing phone numbers and phone calls, and they're moving quick. And we've got to be able to detect and prevent. I keep saying that, but this is a -- it requires quick action. . . .
“And without revealing the operating details of our program, I just want to assure the American people that, one, I've got the authority to do this; two, it is a necessary part of my job to protect you; and, three, we're guarding your civil liberties.”
---Press Conference: December 19, 2005
GEORGE W. BUSH [on warrantless wiretaps]: “Now, having suggested this idea, I then, obviously, went to the question, is it legal to do so? I am -- I swore to uphold the laws. Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is, absolutely. As I mentioned in my remarks, the legal authority is derived from the Constitution, as well as the authorization of force by the United States Congress.”
---Press Conference: December 19, 2005
SCOTT McCLELLAN: “[The secret wiretaps are] very limited in nature.”
Press Conference, January 3, 2006
RUSSELL D. TICE (NSA Whistleblower): "The number of Americans subject to eavesdropping by the NSA could be in the millions."
---To House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, February 14, 2006
JAMES MADISON: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
---Speech in the Virginia Convention, June 16, 1788