Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called President Bush's explanations for eavesdropping on domestic telephone calls "strange" and "far-fetched," launching a blistering attack on the White House ahead of the president's State of the Union address.
"Obviously, I support tracking down terrorists. I think that's our obligation. But I think it can be done in a lawful way," the New York Democrat said.
Clinton, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, told reporters she did not yet know whether the administration's warrantless eavesdropping broke any laws. But the senator said she did not buy the White House's main justifications for the tactic.
"Their argument that it's rooted in the authority to go after al-Qaida is far-fetched," she said in an apparent reference to a congressional resolution passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. The Bush administration has argued that resolution gave the president authority to order such electronic surveillance as part of efforts to protect the nation from terrorists.
"Their argument that it's rooted in the Constitution inherently is kind of strange because we have FISA and FISA operated very effectively and it wasn't that hard to get their permission," she said. The super-secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by
Congress to approve eavesdropping warrants, even retroactively, but Bush has argued that the process often takes too long.
Why can't the Clintons just go away? seriously.