Archive for December, 2005

December 1, 2005

Defining victory in Iraq, finally (The Christian Science Monitor) »

  • Victory should be defined two-fold: the rising success of Iraqi forces and the American people’s faith in Bush’s reporting on his own benchmarks of success. So far, only the first one appears on track.•

Pelosi calls for pullout as Democrats dismiss Bush strategy ( »

  • Said Sen. Russ Feingold , D-Wis.: “It’s a step back. The only new thing the administration gave the American people was a glossy, 35-page pamphlet filled with the same rhetoric we’ve all heard before. That’s not a strategy.”

December 2, 2005

White House Defends Human Rights Record (AP) »

  • “We show that by liberating people in Afghanistan and Iraq — some 50 million people. No one has done more when it comes to human rights than the United States of America. I think the American people understand.”

December 5, 2005

Text: Rice’s Remarks Before Europe Trip (AP) »

  • We consider the captured members of al-Qaida and its affiliates to be unlawful combatants who may be held, in accordance with the law of war, to keep them from killing innocents. We must treat them in accordance with our laws, which reflect the values of the American people. We must question them to gather potentially significant, lifesaving, intelligence. We must bring terrorists to justice wherever possible.

Rumsfeld Offers Optimistic View of Iraq (AP) »

  • “A lie moves around the world at the speed of light,” he said, stressing there is a “jarring contrast between what the American people are reading and hearing about Iraq and the views of the Iraqi people.”

December 6, 2005

Storm Aid Excludes Casinos, Liquor Stores (AP) »

  • “Giving tax breaks to massage parlors, casinos, liquor stores and golf courses while we cut federal programs for the less fortunate cannot be explained to the American people,” he said.

December 7, 2005

Quotes Regarding Bush’s Speech on Iraq (AP) »

  • Bush again “failed to provide a strategy for success or speak honestly to the American people about the failures in rebuilding Iraq and the challenges that lie ahead. Instead, he cherry-picked isolated examples of Iraq’s reconstruction from two cities that provide an inaccurate and incomplete picture of the situation on the ground for most Iraqis,” — Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Bush Stresses Iraq’s Economic Progress (AP) »

  • He said victory will be achieved when insurgents and others seeking to derail democracy in Iraq can no longer threaten the future of the nation; when Iraqi security forces can safeguard their own citizens; and when Iraq is not a haven for terrorists plotting attacks against the U.S. Democrats say the U.S. engagement in Iraq is open-ended and costly in terms of lives and dollars. They say the president refrains from giving the American people an idea of when U.S. troops might be able to return home.

December 8, 2005

House GOP Pushes Ahead With Tax Cut Agenda (AP) »

  • “Obviously, the current tax policy of this Congress has encouraged economic growth, and to raise taxes now would close the door of opportunity that is open for so many today,” said Rep. Adam Putnam , R-Fla. “Now is not the time to increase taxes on the American people.”

December 10, 2005

Reed: Bush Fails to Outline Iraq Strategy (AP) »

  • The American people are eager to hear the president’s plan for success in Iraq, rebuilding the country and bringing our troops home,” Reed said. “Instead, the president continues to offer vague generalities and rhetoric with no specifics about what needs to be done.”

December 13, 2005

Bush’s Approval Up, but Disagreement Why (AP) »

  • “They are important speeches,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, “and they are helping to inform the American people about the progress that’s being made on the ground in Iraq, the stakes involved in Iraq and the challenges that remain.”

December 16, 2005

House Calls for Info on Overseas Detention (AP) »

  • “This is the democratic system working,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday on CBS’ “Early Show.” “Senator McCain worked tirelessly with the administration to get to legislation that will allow us both to protect the American people … and to do so within our laws and within our international obligations.”

December 17, 2005

Bush Approved Eavesdropping, Official Says (AP) »

  • Senior administration officials asserted the president would do everything in his power to protect the American people while safeguarding civil liberties.
  • “I will make this point,” Bush said in an interview with “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” “That whatever I do to protect the American people — and I have an obligation to do so — that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people.”

Bush Raps Senators Over Patriot Act (AP) »

  • Bush added, “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that law enforcement and intelligence officials have the tools they need to protect the American people.”

December 18, 2005

Reaction to President Bush’s Speech (AP) »

  • “While I appreciate the president’s increased candor, too much of the substance remains the same and the American people have still not heard what benchmarks we must meet along the way to know that progress is being made.” — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

December 19, 2005

Bush says Senate failure to renew Patriot Act “inexcusable” (AFP) »

  • Bush said, “Congress has a responsibility to give our law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to protect the American people.”

Text of President Bush’s News Conference (AP) »

  • I also pledged to the American people to do everything within my power to prevent this from happening again.
  • 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 the need to protect the American people.
  • 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.
  • BUSH: First of all, right after September the 11th, I knew we were fighting a different kind of war. 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.
  • But FISAs is for long-term monitoring. What is needed in order to protect the American people is the ability to move quickly to detect.
  • 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.
  • BUSH: 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.
  • Now, I will continue to speak to the American people on this issue, to not only describe the decision-making process but also the way forward.
  • 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.
  • This is a part of our effort to protect the American people.
  • 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.
  • This is an awesome responsibility, to make decisions on behalf of the American people. And I understand that. And we’ll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor a program such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we’re protecting the civil liberties of the United States.
  • BUSH: I just described limits on this particular program, 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.

Lawmakers Don’t Rule Out Patriot Act Deal (AP) »

  • “It is inexcusable to say to the American people, you know, we’re going to be tough on terror but take away the very tools necessary to help fight these people,” Bush said.

December 20, 2005

Cheney Visits Pakistan Quake Aid Station (AP) »

  • The American people wanted to express our sorrow at the tremendous tragedy that you had with the earthquake,” Cheney told Musharraf. “We’re delighted we’ve been able to be partners in helping address this. And one of the things I wanted to do today, obviously, is to have a chance to see some of our people who are involved with those relief efforts.”

Cheney Defends Presidential Powers (AP) »

  • Cheney said he believes the American people support President Bush’s terror-fighting strategy. “If there’s a backlash pending,” because of reports of National Security Agency surveillance of calls originating within the United States, he said, “I think the backlash is going to be against those who are suggesting somehow that we shouldn’t take these steps to defend the country.”

Democrats Say They Didn’t Back Wiretapping (AP) »

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he and other top aides were now educating the American people and Congress. “The president has not authorized … blanket surveillance of communications here in the United States,” he said.

Senate members seek spying probe (Reuters) »

  • “And I don’t think that there is anything improper orinappropriate in that and my guess is that the vast majority ofthe American people support that, support what we’re doing,believe we ought to be doing it,” he said.

Lawmaker Wants Bush and Cheney Censured (AP) »

  • Conyers, releasing a staff report on the buildup to war, cited “substantial evidence the president, the vice president and other high-ranking members of the Bush administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq.”

December 21, 2005

Bush calls for renewed anti-terrorism powers (AFP) »

  • “The terrorists want to hit us again,” Bush told reporters in prepared remarks on the South Lawn of the White House. “We must have the tools necessary to protect the American people.”
  • “At the same time as we protected the American people using the Patriot Act, we’ve also protected their civil liberties. There is extensive oversight on this very important program,” the president said.

December 22, 2005

White House denies defeat on terrorism law (AFP) »

  • Far from legislative defeat, “I consider it a victory for the American people,” spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters after lawmakers extended the act for six months rather than indefinitely, as the White House had sought.

Congress Extends Patriot Act for One Month (AP) »

  • Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for Hastert, issued a statement comparing Pelosi to the Grinch, who “wants to take all of the holiday help away from the American people.”

December 23, 2005

Most think propaganda campaign in Iraq wrong ( »

  • “It just seems like propaganda that could be favorable to the U.S. but not what the American people are thinking and more what the Pentagon wants to reflect,” says Sharyn Barkan, 50, of Blue Bell, Pa., who responded to the poll. “That doesn’t sound right to me.”

Alito Defended Officials From Wiretap Suits (AP) »

  • “One of the most important, and one of the most timely, is the issue of unchecked presidential authority and the particular issue of warrantless eavesdropping on the American people,” Leahy said.

December 24, 2005

Alito urged eavesdropping immunity (Reuters) »

  • With Bush under fire for authorizing wiretaps withoutwarrants, “the American people understand they need a justiceon the Supreme Court who will protect their rights againstabuse by their own government,” he said.

Democrats Decry GOP’s Budget Legislation (AP) »

  • “In order to have an America that is strong at home and abroad, we must have a government that is as good as the American people,” he said.

December 27, 2005

Bush Reaffirms Support for Tsunami Victims (AP) »

  • “At this time of remembrance, the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with those who suffered from this tragedy,” Bush said in a statement.

December 28, 2005

Democrats Cite Gaps in DHS Record (AP) »

  • “It would be one thing if the department didn’t identify security lapses in the first place, but a more troubling situation when they make promises to the American people and then leave them unfulfilled,” Thompson said.

December 30, 2005

Text of President’s New Year’s Message (AP) »

  • The great strength of our nation lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. This past year, Americans responded with an outpouring of compassion to help the people of the Gulf Coast region recover from one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation’s history. We remember the victims of the past year’s hurricanes and give thanks for the millions of people who opened their hearts, homes, and communities to those in need.