White House uses London ‘terror plot’ to drive legislation 5

From the Star Tribune

The White House pushes for a tough anti-terror law and orders an appeal of the decision on NSA surveillance.

WASHINGTON – A federal court’s rejection of President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, on the heels of the alleged London bomb plot, is adding momentum to the administration’s push for congressional approval of tough counterterrorism proposals, including authorizing warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists and restricting detainee rights.

Speaking with reporters Friday at the Camp David retreat in Maryland, Bush said, “Those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live.”I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree,” he said. “That’s why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately, and I believe our appeals will be upheld.”

Bush’s advisers and allies argue that passage of a measure that explicitly authorizes the National Security Agency program would answer key elements of Thursday’s ruling. At the same time, the disrupted London plot is fueling another message: that tough policies in dealing with terror suspects are necessary to combat the continuing threat of terrorism.

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5 thoughts on “White House uses London ‘terror plot’ to drive legislation

  • ScottSA

    Well, after all that, it appears that the plot wasn't all just a fabrication by the Bush Blair Reid axis of evil. Surprise surprise.

  • H George

    Not a response to ScottSA, who I think has been established as a troll, rather than someone with a bona fide interest in constructive debate, but…

    I don't think anybody here has ever suggested that the whole thing was likely to be "all just a fabrication".

    The advice was "be sceptical":

    be sceptical of public statements from the police in advance of evidence being tested in a court of law, given the police's proven track record of spinning and lying eg on Menezes;

    note that the arrests were made following the receipt of information from the Pakistan secret police that bombings were set for a named imminent date, information that was very possibly/probably obtained by torture;

    note that the "plotters" appear to have been a long way from being ready to succeed in causing explosion on a plane on said imminent date (or indeed, succeed in boarding a plane at all, having no ticket or passport!);

    be alive to the obvious and blatant fact that the arrests were seized upon by the Bush & Blair administrations' spin machines as a means of gaining huge publicity for their agenda, ratcheting up the fear factor to prepare the ground to push through otherwise controversial legislation to withdraw our traditional legal safeguards and freedoms, and to wipe other problems and negative coverage clean out of the media for a good few days of the non-stop 24 hour news cycle;

    be aware that Bush & Blair discussed this a few days previously, and a very plausible scenario is that Bush told Blair to ignore the niceties of evidence-gathering, pressure the police to make some arrests and turn this into a massive story soon;

    be aware that John Reid has a very personal political interest in bigging this one up and raising his own profile as he has a fantasy that he could win the leadership of the Labour Party.

    It's way too early to say definitively what was going on. Nothing has been said today that should temper scepticism about the spin-frenzy that accompanied the arrests. Nothing has been said that shows that the plotters were particularly ready or near to committing any outrage – indeed, the language used suggests the opposite is distinctly possible – that the police have got a thin case against these guys and that they are bluffing furiously.

  • ScottSA

    Actually Gearge, its rather hard to engage in "constructive debate" when the usual suspects persist in calling one a "troll" and bellowing "racism" at one everytime one says anything, eh wot?

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