Well, Bush has been caught committing High Crimes against this country and its Constitution, so you know what that means! PRESS CONFERENCE!
And so, instead of your usual episode of The Scotty Show, we are bringing you The Dubya Show. It's our holiday gift to all of you, to put underneath your holiday tree, all covered with holiday ornaments. Just our way of commemorating the birth of our holiday baby.
The names have changed but it all works the same: We abridged the press conference and dumped it into the Bullshit Detector. The Bullshit Detector then lost its will to live and jumped off a bridge. So we went out and bought a new Bullshit Detector and it provided us with what you see below. It gave us more pictures than usual, in case Bush himself decides to come see what he really said yesterday.
Press corps comments and questions are italicized for her pleasure.
Dubya's bullshit is thick and bold, like in real life.
Translations are in plain text, which I'm sure signifies something suitably profound.
And now... The Dubya Show!
All across America, tens of millions of Americans were heard saying in one unified voice... "Why is this fuck-up on TV and where the fuck is Family Guy?"
In a nation that once lived by the whims of a brutal dictator
Boy how times have changed.
the Iraqi people now enjoy constitutionally protected freedoms,
Although the nation currently occupying them does not.
and their leaders now derive their powers from the consent of the government.
Did you think I meant "derive their powers from the consent of the people"? Well, guess again. I meant what I said... "the consent of the government". And, to be even more specific... they derive their powers from the consent of the American government.
Millions of Iraqis are looking forward to a future with hope and optimism.
And we will find them, and smoke them out, and crush them.
Our mission in Iraq is critical in the victory in the global war on terror.
After our country was attacked on September the 11th and nearly 3,000 lives were lost
Okay, who had "21 seconds" on the "How Quickly Will Bush Say 9/11?" office pool?
Running 9/11 count: 1.
I vowed to do everything within my power to bring justice to those who were responsible.
I also pledged to the American people to do everything within my power to prevent this from happening again. What we quickly learned was that al Qaeda was not a conventional enemy. Some lived in our cities and communities, and communicated from here in America to plot and plan with bin Laden's lieutenants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Then they boarded our airplanes and launched the worst attack on our country in our nation's history.
And so, in conclusion:
This new threat required us to think and act differently. And as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, to prevent this from happening again, we need to connect the dots before the enemy attacks, not after.
Of course, they were probably trying to make some stupid point about how, if I get a briefing called "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within United States", I should maybe take a break from clearing brush and falling off my bicycle and actually read it.
As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have the constitutional responsibility and the constitutional authority to protect our country.
And I will do this by eliminating the Constitution.
Article II of the Constitution gives me that responsibility and the authority necessary to fulfill it.
I'm banking on the idea that none of you yahoos will actually read Article II of the Constitution, because believe it or not, the Constitution does not give me the authority to ignore the Constitution. Specifically, I'm particularly hoping you won't read Article II, Section 4.
And after September the 11th, the United States Congress also granted me additional authority to use military force against al Qaeda.
And I have used that authority to crown myself King For Life.
Running 9/11 Count: 2
After September the 11th, one question my administration had to answer was how, using the authorities I have, how do we effectively detect enemies hiding in our midst and prevent them from striking us again?
And that's when we decided, "Fuck the authorities that I have... let's do whatever we want!"
Running 9/11 Count: 3
We know that a two-minute phone conversation between somebody linked to al Qaeda here and an operative overseas could lead directly to the loss of thousands of lives. To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks.
But the only way to do that was to monitor every single phone call in the country. That includes residential and business landlines, pay phones, cell phones, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Not to mention domestic mail, international mail, parcel post, email, instant messaging, text messaging, video conferencing... It became clear that we had to impose a digital police state. We needed to eliminate freedoms to stop the terrorists who would attack us because they hate our freedoms.
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.
And let's get a few definitions out of the way:
CONSISTENT WITH = In direct opposition to
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS = All conversations
WITH KNOWN LINKS TO = Who have heard about
RELATED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS = Moveon.org, ACLU, NAACP, Dean For America
Just plug those definitions in and I think you'll get what I'm saying.
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.
Of course, the Democrats opposed it and the Republicans are mostly all under indictment or investigation anyway, but you get the idea.
And it has been effective in disrupting the enemy, while safeguarding our civil liberties.
SAFEGUARDING = Totally shredding
This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda.
See above definitions.
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.
I've broken the law and committed an impeachable offense more than 30 times and I will keep doing it, motherfuckers. What are you gonna do to stop me?
Running 9/11 Count: 4
Another vital tool in the war on terror is the Patriot Act. After September the 11th, Congress acted quickly and responsibly by passing this law, which provides our law enforcement and intelligence community key tools to prevent attacks in our country.
Congress, completely shaken by recent events, acted quickly, in the middle of the night, to ram through a bill that they had not read, a bill which undermined many of the civil liberties that make this country a great and shining example of freedom and democracy around the world. And by God, they need to do so again.
Running 9/11 Count: 5
The Patriot Act tore down the legal and bureaucratic wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence authorities from sharing vital information about terrorist threats.
It also tore down the legal and bureaucratic walls that kept law enforcement from raping your First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendment rights. But a wise man once said -- I think it was Benjamin Jefferson -- he said, "For security, you have to give up essential liberty and you deserve it. Or something. Can't -- can't get fooled again."
Yet, key provisions of this law are set to expire in 12 days. The House of Representatives voted for reauthorization, but last week, a minority of senators filibustered the Patriot Act, blocking the Senate from voting to reauthorize key provisions of this vital law. In fact, the Senate Democratic leader boasted to a group of political supporters that the Senate Democrats had "killed the Patriot Act."
It is vital -- VITAL -- to know who is checking out Anti-Bush, Anti-War or Anti-Republican books from the library. In the spirit of Christmas, we are making a list and checking it twice.
Most of the senators now filibustering the Patriot Act actually voted for it in 2001. These senators need to explain why they thought the Patriot Act was a vital tool after the September the 11th attacks, but now think it's no longer necessary.
They will probably say something stupid like, "I actually read it this time." Stupid flip-floppers.
Running 9/11 Count: 6
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.
Of course, I will oppose any efforts to temporarily extend the Act for few more months while debate continues. I cannot afford for this vote to take place after all the shit comes out about the way we have raped the Bill of Rights with a broken broomstick. The vote must be done NOW!
Running 9/11 Count: 7
As we fight the war on terror, we'll also continue to work to build prosperity for our citizens. Because we cut taxes and restrained non-security spending, our economy is strong and it is getting stronger. We added 215,000 new jobs in November.
We've added nearly 4.5 million new jobs since May of 2003.
We passed a good energy bill
and we're putting America on the path to make our economy less dependent on foreign sources of oil.
Yay! Less dependent on foreign oil! You know what that means?
Wind farms! Solar panels! Fuel cells! Hydroelectric! Geothermal! Biomass!
More dependent on domestic sources of oil!
We were wise with taxpayer's money and cut non-security discretionary spending below last year's level.
And then we pissed it all away on more handouts to the richest among us.
We passed the Central American Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement to open up markets and help level the playing field for America's workers and farmers and small businesses.
Because NAFTA was such a resounding success, we thought we'd have a Round Two.
We passed bankruptcy reform
Take that, people with no money!
and class action lawsuit reform.
Take that, large groups of people who get wronged or injured by large corporations!
To keep our economy growing, we need to keep taxes low, and make the tax relief permanent. We must restrain government spending, and I'm pleased that the House today has voted to rein in entitlement spending by $40 billion, and I urge the United States Senate to join them.
We must slash programs for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and children to pay for massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans!
I look forward to the Senate holding an up or down vote on Judge Sam Alito and confirming him by January 20th as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Judge Alito has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years. He's a highly respected and principled jurist and he will make our nation proud as a member of the high court.
And once he's confirmed, all you people whining "unconstitutional this" and "unconstitutional that" will have to shut the fuck up, because that nutjob will be the one who decides what's constitutional and what's not.
As we prepare to spend time with our families this holiday season
Did you hear that, O'Reilly? Yeah, I said "Holiday Season". I think that should confirm to you and your followers that I am the antichrist.
we also stop to count our blessings. We're thankful for our courageous men and women in uniform who are spending the holidays away from loved ones, standing watch for liberty in distant lands.
While liberty in this land is pissed away by the same crazy bastard that sent them so far away from their loved ones in the first place.
Mr. President, thank you, sir. Are you going to order a leaks investigation into the disclosure of the NSA surveillance program? And why did you skip the basic safeguard of asking courts for permission for these intercepts?
Let me start with the first question. There is a process that goes on inside the Justice Department about leaks, and I presume that process is moving forward. My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy.
You see, the issue here is not that I have gone around a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process that is so generous to the US government that it has basically never told the government no. And it's not that I'm spying on US citizens in direct contravention of the highest and most fundamental laws and liberties in this land. No... the issue is that you found out about it.
You've got to understand -- and I hope the American people understand -- there is still an enemy that would like to strike the United States of America, and they're very dangerous. And the discussion about how we try to find them will enable them to adjust. Now, I can understand you asking these questions and if I were you, I'd be asking me these questions, too. But it is a shameful act by somebody who has got secrets of the United States government and feels like they need to disclose them publicly.
I mean, how dare someone -- HOW DARE THEY -- let the American public know that their own government and their own National Security Agency and their own federal officials are using their own taxpayer dollars to create a spy program that will be used against that same American public. It is an outrage, I'll tell you that.
Let me give you an example about my concerns about letting the enemy know what may or may not be happening. In the late 1990s, our government was following Osama bin Laden because he was using a certain type of telephone. And then the fact that we were following Osama bin Laden because he was using a certain type of telephone made it into the press as the result of a leak. And guess what happened? Saddam -- Osama bin Laden changed his behavior. He began to change how he communicated.
I just thought I would regale you all with a fun story that is not at all related to the fact that this government is spying on ordinary American citizens without just cause and without a warrant.
We're at war, and we must protect America's secrets. And so the Justice Department, I presume, will proceed forward with a full investigation. I haven't ordered one, because I understand there's kind of a natural progression that will take place when this kind of leak emerges.
Rest assured, we will not tolerate it when someone alerts the American people to the fact that they are being victimized by their own government.
The second part of the question is? Sorry -- I gave a long answer.
I have the attention span of a goldfish.
It was, why did you skip the basic safeguards of asking courts for permission for the intercepts?
First of all, I -- right after September the 11th, I knew we were fighting a different kind of war.
Running 9/11 Count: 8
And so I asked people in my administration to analyze how best for me and our government to do the job people expect us to do, which is to detect and prevent a possible attack. That's what the American people want. We looked at the possible scenarios. 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.
It went like this:
BUSH: Okay, everybody... we were just attacked by terrorists! I must now detect and prevent possible further attacks. That's what the American people want. Who's got some ideas?
NAVY ADMIRAL: Well, we could hunt down Osama bin Laden. That might help.
MARINE LT. GENERAL: Yeah, and Mullah Omar. If we could corner them in the Tora Bora region, we could probably capture or kill them.
ARMY COLONEL: Those are great ideas. May I also suggest fully funding first responders like police officers, firefighters, and paramedics? Make sure they are well-equipped with proper gear and communications equipment?
AIR FORCE MAJ. GENERAL: The only thing I can add to that is if there's ever an opportunity to blow the cover of a CIA agent whose job is to track and prevent nuclear proliferation to rogue states, you should probably avoid doing that.
CHENEY (snarling): Fuck them, George. Let's steal some oil and money for Halliburton, and use the NSA to spy on our political foes!
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.
Yeah, FISA only lets us start surveillance on somebody instantly as long as we get a warrant less than 72 hours later... and instantly isn't fast enough for us!
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.
Neither of which mention anything even close to resembling any authority for the President to override the Constitution, but whatever.
Mr. President, you have hailed the Iraqi elections as a success, but some lawmakers say you are not focusing on the threat of civil war. Do you fear a civil war? And how hard will you push Iraq's competing political parties to get a government and a constitutional compromise?
I appreciate that. We look at all contingencies, but my optimism about a unified Iraq moving forward was confirmed when over 10 million people went to the polls under a -- and voted for a government under a new constitution. Constitutions tend to bind societies.
And in the case of the Sunnis, bind AND gag them, and then throw them in a river. Heh heh... A little Iraqi political humor for ya. No seriously, though, that metaphorical binding and gagging and throwing them in a river... that will probably cause a civil war.
Now, there are some things we've got to watch, Adam, for certain. One, is we've got to help the Iraqi government as best as they need help, to stand up a government as quickly as possible. In other words, we're urging them: don't delay, move as quickly as you can, solve the -- get the political parties -- once the vote is completed, get the political parties together and come up with a government.
Because when you're dealing with volatile political and ethnic sensibilities and trying to fashion a permanent government that will be able to lead in a manner acceptable to everyone, the one thing that you REALLY want to aim for is speed.
And it's going to take a while, because, first of all, the ballots won't be fully counted, I guess, until early January. And then, as I mentioned in my remarks, it take a two-thirds vote to -- first, to seat certain officials. Sometimes it's hard to achieve a two-thirds vote in legislative bodies. How about the Senate, for example? (Laughter.)
But seriously folks, that would make me a dictator... how about it?
But, nevertheless, it's going to take a while. And the American people have got to understand that we think in terms of elections, most of our elections end the day after the election. Sometimes they don't, Adam. (Laughter.)
And wasn't it funny how democracy died in 2000? Oh, I crack me up.
Sir, you've shown a remarkable spirit of candor in the last couple of weeks in your conversation and speeches about Iraq. And I'm wondering if, in that spirit, I might ask you a question that you didn't seem to have an answer for the last time you were asked, and that is, what would you say is the biggest mistake you've made during your presidency, and what have you learned from it?
Answering Dickerson's question. No, I -- the last time those questions were asked, I really felt like it was an attempt for me to say it was a mistake to go into Iraq. And it wasn't a mistake to go into Iraq. It was the right decision to make.
No weapons of mass destruction: Check.
No mushroom clouds over New York: Check.
No Saddam involvement in 9/11: Check
No Saddam involvement in al Qaeda: Check.
Tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians: Check.
2,157 Dead American Soldiers: Check.
Over 16,000 Injured American Soldiers: Check.
Dozens of Dead Journalists: Check.
Terrorism Tripled in Iraq War Aftermath: Check.
Terrorist Recruitment Up: Check.
Iraq on Verge of Ethnic Civil War: Check.
Iraq war a mistake? No, I don't make mistakes.
I think that, John, there's going to be a lot of analysis done on the decisions on the ground in Iraq. For example, I'm fully aware that some have said it was a mistake not to put enough troops there immediately -- or more troops. I made my decision based upon the recommendations of Tommy Franks, and I still think it was the right decision to make.
It wasn't a mistake and if it was, it was Tommy Franks's mistake, not mine.
But history will judge.
And we will write that history.
I said the other day that a mistake was trying to train a civilian defense force and an Iraqi army at the same time, but not giving the civilian defense force enough training and tools necessary to be able to battle a group of thugs and killers. And so we adjusted.
And while I might call that a mistake, I won't call that my mistake.
And the point I'm trying to make to the American people in this, as you said, candid dialogue -- I hope I've been candid all along; but in the candid dialogue -- is to say, we're constantly changing our tactics to meet the changing tactics of an enemy. And that's important for our citizens to understand.
So, in summary, the answer to your question: What is the biggest mistake I've made in my presidency, my answer is a resounding "I've been candid all along and we change our tactics." I think that should clear everything up for you.
Thank you, Mr. President. If you believe that present law needs to be faster, more agile concerning the surveillance of conversations from someone in the United States to someone outside the country why, in the four years since 9/11, has your administration not sought to get changes in the law instead of bypassing it, as some of your critics have said?
I appreciate that. First, I want to make clear to the people listening that this program is limited in nature to those that are known al Qaeda ties and/or affiliates. That's important. So it's a program that's limited, and you brought up something that I want to stress, and that is, is that these calls are not intercepted within the country. They are from outside the country to in the country, or vice versa. So in other words, this is not a -- if you're calling from Houston to L.A., that call is not monitored.
And you can trust me on that, because I've been so straightforward and up-front about everything else.
And if there was ever any need to monitor, there would be a process to do that.
And we would ignore that process, too, and do it however we wanted.
I think I've got the authority to move forward, Kelly. I mean, this is what -- and the Attorney General was out briefing this morning about why it's legal to make the decisions I'm making. I can fully understand why members of Congress are expressing concerns about civil liberties. I know that. And it's -- I share the same concerns. I want to make sure the American people understand, however, that we have an obligation to protect you, and we're doing that and, at the same time, protecting your civil liberties.
And this just comes right back around to that Benjamin Jefferson quote I told you all earlier. "If you want liberty, then essentially you don't deserve to be safe." Or, really, something of that nature.
Thank you, Mr. President. You say you have an obligation to protect us. Then why not monitor those calls between Houston and L.A.? If the threat is so great, and you use the same logic, why not monitor those calls? Americans thought they weren't being spied on in calls overseas -- why not within the country, if the threat is so great?
We will, under current law, if we have to. We will monitor those calls. And that's why there is a FISA law. We will apply for the right to do so. And there's a difference -- let me finish -- there is a difference between detecting so we can prevent, and monitoring. And it's important to know the distinction between the two.
Right now, I'm just going to say some things in a random fashion and hope to God that you all don't realize that what I'm really doing is putting up a smoke screen. Because a phone call is a phone call is a phone call, and if FISA works for domestic calls it would work for international ones. And I'm hoping that you don't realize that.
Democrats have said that you have acted beyond law, and that you have even broken the law. There are some Republicans who are calling for congressional hearings and even an independent investigation. Are you willing to go before members of Congress and explain this eavesdropping program? And do you support an independent investigation?
We have been talking to members of the United States Congress. We have met with them over 12 times. And it's important for them to be brought into this process. Again, I repeat, I understand people's concerns. But I also want to assure the American people that I am doing what you expect me to do, which is to safeguard civil liberties and at the same time protect the United States of America. And we've explained the authorities under which I'm making our decisions, and will continue to do so.
I want to assure the American people that I'm doing what you expect me to do. When the Supreme Court installed me as King For Life, I know a lot of people said, "Well, I expect that means we're fucked." And you ARE fucked, see? I have lived up to your low expectations!
Secondly, there is a committee -- two committees on the Hill which are responsible, and that's the Intelligence Committee.
And for my next trick, I will learn to count to two.
Again, any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, here's what they do; adjust. This is a war. Of course we consult with Congress and have been consulting with Congress and will continue to do so.
And when we meet with Congress, we know that we can ram the Republican agenda through and the Democrats can do nothing to stop us because this is all secret and behind closed doors, so there's no accountability! That's what we refer to here in Washington as "win-win".
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?
We used the process to monitor. But also, 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. And we're guarding the civil liberties by monitoring the program on a regular basis, by having the folks at NSA, the legal team, as well as the inspector general, monitor the program, and we're briefing Congress. This is a part of our effort to protect the American people. The American people expect us to protect them and protect their civil liberties. I'm going to do that. That's my job, and I'm going to continue doing my job.
Well, "Stretch", the long and short of it is this: Those 19,000 requests for wiretaps and search warrants -- those were for actual national security threats. That's why they were approved. The people we're spying on are different. It's a different kind of enemy. We're dealing with an enemy here that protests against their own president in a time of war. An enemy that fights for the civil rights of people across this country. An enemy that thinks it's okay to destroy marriage by letting gay people get married. An enemy that advocates for the poor and the sick. Okay? I'm talking about liberals here, Stretch. And right now the FISA court is not yet set up to help us exact political retribution on liberals.
I wonder if you can tell us today, sir, what, if any, limits you believe there are or should be on the powers of a President during a war, at wartime? And if the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?
First of all, I disagree with your assertion of "unchecked power."
And for that, I will label you an enemy combatant, have the military arrest you, send you to a detention facility in another country, deny you the right to an attorney, deny you the right to a jury, deny you the right to a speedy and public trial, keep you from talking to your friends and family, deprive you of your liberty and perhaps even your life, and subject you to cruel and unusual treatment.
Hold on a second, please. There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters. There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time, and on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times.
In secret. When there was nothing they could do about it.
This is an awesome responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the American people, and I understand that, Peter. And we'll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor programs such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we're protecting the civil liberties of the United States. To say "unchecked power" basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the President, which I strongly reject.
I strongly reject that notion no matter HOW correct it may be!
What limits do you --
I just described limits on this particular program, Peter. And that's what's important for the American people to understand. I am doing what you expect me to do, and at the same time, safeguarding the civil liberties of the country.
Peter, you ignorant fuck, I hope you don't mind me saying so, but Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is beautiful this time of year.
Mr. President, you said last night that there were only two options in Iraq -- withdraw or victory. And you asked Americans, especially opponents of the war, to reject partisan politics. Do you really expect congressional Democrats to end their partisan warfare and embrace your war strategy? And what can you do about that to make that happen?
Actually, I said that victory in Iraq is much larger than a person, a President, or a political party. And I've had some good visits with Senate and House Democrats about the way forward. They share the same concerns I share. You know, they want our troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible, but they don't want to do so without achieving a victory. These are good, solid Americans that agree that we must win for the sake of our security. And I'm interested in, Joe, their ideas, and will continue to listen carefully to their ideas.
Then I will continue to carefully ignore their ideas and do whatever the hell I want to.
On the other hand, there are some in this country that believe, strongly believe that we ought to get out now. And I just don't agree with them. It's a wrong strategy, and I'd like to tell you again why. One, it would dishearten the Iraqis. The Iraqis are making a great -- showing great courage to setting up a democracy. And a democracy in Iraq -- I know I've said this, and I'm going to keep saying it because I want the American people to understand -- a democracy in Iraq is vital in the long run to defeating terrorism. And the reason why is, is because democracy is hopeful and optimistic.
We can't withdraw from Iraq because it would dishearten the Iraqis. The same Iraqis who oppose US presence in the first place (more than 2/3) and believe the war was wrong (1/2).
Secondly, it sends the wrong signal to our troops. We've got young men and women over there sacrificing. And all of a sudden, because of politics or some focus group or some poll, they stand up and say, we're out of there. I can't think of anything more dispiriting to a kid risking his or her life than to see decisions made based upon politics.
Although sometimes I wonder if it is more dispiriting to a kid risking his or her life to get killed for a great big pack of lies.
Thirdly, it sends the wrong signal to the enemy. It just says, wait them out; they're soft, they don't have the courage to complete the mission -- all we've got to do is continue to kill and get these images on the TV screens, and the Americans will leave. And all that will do is embolden these people. Now, I recognize there is a debate in the country, and I fully understand that, about the nature of the enemy. I hear people say, because we took action in Iraq, we stirred them up, they're dangerous. No, they were dangerous before we went into Iraq. That's what the American people have got to understand. That's why I took the decision I took on the NSA decision, because I understand how dangerous they are. And they want to hit us again.
It is important that we keep American soldiers in Iraq, dying over nothing, because if those soldiers were not dying over nothing, then the enemy might think that America is weak. But we will show them that they can kill 10 soldiers a day, 20 soldiers a day, 100 soldiers a day, and we will continue to let our brave men and women be sitting ducks, because that's how damn strong we are!
Let me say something about the Patriot Act, if you don't mind. It is inexcusable for the United States Senate to let this Patriot Act expire. You know, there's an interesting debate in Washington, and you're part of it, that says, well, they didn't connect the dots prior to September the 11th -- "they" being not only my administration, but previous administrations.
Behold, the mighty power of Bill Clinton's penis, still responsible for all the shit I have fucked up even five years after he left office.
Running 9/11 Count: 9
And I understand that debate. I'm not being critical of you bringing this issue up and discussing it, but there was a -- you might remember, if you take a step back, people were pretty adamant about hauling people up to testify, and wondering how come the dots weren't connected.
Well, the Patriot Act helps us connect the dots. And now the United States Senate is going to let this bill expire. Not the Senate -- a minority of senators. And I want senators from New York or Los Angeles or Las Vegas to go home and explain why these cities are safer. It is inexcusable to say, on the one hand, connect the dots, and not give us a chance to do so. We've connected the dots, or trying to connect the dots with the NSA program. And, again, I understand the press and members of the United States Congress saying, are you sure you're safeguarding civil liberties. That's a legitimate question, and an important question. And today I hope I'll help answer that. But we're connecting dots as best as we possibly can.
We're connecting dots so good that we're connecting dots that don't exist.
I mentioned in my radio address -- my live TV radio address -- that there was two killers in San Diego making phone calls prior to the September the 11th attacks. Had this program been in place then, it is more likely we would have been able to catch them. But they're making phone calls from the United States, overseas, talking about -- who knows what they're talking about, but they ended up killing -- being a part of the team that killed 3,000 Americans. And so -- I forgot what got me on the subject, but nevertheless I'm going to -- we're doing the right thing.
If only we had some sort of program in place before September 11. It would be a program to help stop terrorist attacks in the United States, and it would let us eavesdrop on international telephone calls made by suspected terrorists. We would be able to start eavesdropping on telephone calls on a Tuesday at noon, and as long as we got approval from a special court that is heavily slanted in the government's favor by noon on Friday, it would be completely legal and constitutional. And, we could even have the special court session be totally secret. And ex parte -- the court would only hear our side of the story. Man, that program would be fucking sweet. I bet it would have prevented September 11. We could call it something awesome, like "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act". And if we were in a hurry, we could just call it "FISA" for short. That would be completely bitchin'.
Oh, and I almost forgot:
Running 9/11 Count: 10
Mr. President, in making the case for domestic spying, could you tell us about the planned attacks on the U.S. that were thwarted through your domestic spying plan? And also, on the issue of race, since you brought up the issue of Katrina, 2005 gave us your defense of yourself on race, and some are still not sold on that. In 2006, what are you giving to the nation on the issue of race, as we're looking to the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2007 and things of that nature?
Yes, thanks. April, the fact that some in America believe that I am not concerned about race troubles me. One of the jobs of the President is to help people reconcile and to move forward and to unite. One of the most hurtful things I can hear is, Bush doesn't care about African Americans, for example. First of all, it's not true. And, secondly, I believe that -- obviously I've got to do a better job of communicating, I guess, to certain folks, because my job is to say to people, we're all equally American, and the American opportunity applies to you just as much as somebody else. And so I will continue to do my best, April, to reach out.
I'm getting tired of saying this. I love black people. I know a lot of people might not realize this, but there are some black people that I like, such as Condoleezza Rice and Kenny Blackwell in Ohio. Really, if you want to get down to brass tacks, I just hate poor people. And a lot of black people are poor. So I hate a lot of black people. But not because they are black. So calling me racist is hurtful and wrong.
You asked a multiple-part question.
Yes, I did.
Thank you for violating the multiple-part question rule.
I didn't know there was a law on that. (Laughter.)
There's not a law. It's an executive order. (Laughter.) In this case, not monitored by the Congress -- (laughter) -- nor is there any administrative oversight. (Laughter.)
Hey everybody, remember right before we started this press conference, and we were all eating Egg McMuffins and you all were talking about how I'm raping the Bill of Rights with a flashlight handle? And I said, eventually we'll all look back on this and laugh and laugh? Well, here we are!
One of the things we've seen this year is the reduction in your approval rating. And I know how you feel about polls, but it appears to be taking something out of your political clout, as evidenced by the Patriot Act vote. What do you attribute your lower polls to, and are you worried that independents are losing confidence in your leadership?
David, my job is to confront big challenges and lead. And I fully understand everybody is not going to agree with my decisions. But the President's job is to do what he thinks is right, and that's what I'm going to continue to do.
Beyond that, I'm King For Life, so who gives a flying fuck what the peasants think, anyway?
Secondly, if people want to play politics with the Patriot Act, it's -- let me just put it -- it's not in the best interests of the country, David. And yesterday -- or this morning I spoke to the Speaker, who called me. He said, Mr. President, we had a pretty good couple of days; got your budget passed, got the Katrina relief package going forward; we're supporting our troops; we've got the free trade -- we talked about passing CAFTA in the past. I mean, we've done a lot. And it's good for the country, by the way.
But there are still people left who we have not yet fucked over. And we will find them. We will hunt them down. We will smoke them out. And we will fuck them over.
So I'm just going to keep doing my job. Maybe you can keep focusing on all these focus groups and polls, and all that business. My job is to lead, keep telling the American people what I believe, work to bring people together to achieve a common objective, stand on principle, and that's the way I'm going to lead. I did so in 2005, and I'm going to do so in 2006.
So if you liked what I've done so far this year -- having my aides indicted, fucking up hurricane relief, pushing through right-wing nutjobs on the Supreme Court, lying about Iraq intelligence, spying on American citizens, operating secret torture prisons... expect more of the same in '06!
Thank you all for coming, and happy holidays to you. Appreciate it.
Hey O'Reilly. There's that Happy Holidays again.
NUMBER OF "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" SAID BY PRESIDENT: 2
NUMBER OF "MERRY CHRISTMAS" SAID BY PRESIDENT: 0
Clearly, a boycott and massive letter-writing campaign is in order.