Attack: Bush calls out Dems, MoveOn, Code Pink in speech
George W. Bush -- President of the United States, commander in chief of the world's most powerful military, a man whose actions can move global markets -- took some time out of a speech Thursday to personally toss some political red meat to the conservative audience he was addressing.
"Some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden, and the requests of our commanders on the ground," Bush charged, "and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters."
The assault drew a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd Bush was addressing at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. Republicans have made a habit of attacking the liberal groups -- MoveOn for its "General Betray Us" newspaper ad and Code Pink for its penchant for disrupting administration officials' appearances on Capitol Hill. Code Pink's name is meant to mock the administration's color-coded terror alert system, and the group describes itself as "a feisty call for women and men to 'wage peace.'"
The president defended his embattled attorney general nominee, Michael Mukasey. He accused critics of aiding the enemy by holding up the nominee over concerns regarding his views on torture and refusing to give into his demands on war funding and his authority to spy on Americans.
Several Senators -- including some Republicans -- expressed reservations about Mukasey after he refused to say outright that waterboarding -- an interrogation technique that simulates drowning -- was torture and illegal under US law. Bush said the attorney general is a vital member of his national security team, and he defended the nominees refusal to issue a straight opinion on waterboarding.
Bush said any legal opinion from Mukasey would be impossible because the nominee had not been "read into" the details of the program. The president then claimed that an opinion could place CIA interrogators -- who are alleged to have waterboarded several detainees -- in "legal jeopardy," and he claimed Mukasey's discussion of waterboarding could shed light on techniques used by the US, thereby helping potential terrorists resist interrogation.
Pivoting to another national security battle with Congress, Bush called for permanent revisions to a foreign intelligence law to expand the government's surveillance authority. He also said telecommunications companies that are alleged to have illegally assisted the government's extra-Constitutional wiretapping of Americans after 9/11 should not have to explain their actions in court.
The following video is from CNN's Your World Today, broadcast on November 1, 2007.
White House spokesman, Dana Perino, told reporters that Senators should confirm Bush's Attorney General nomination before asking him tough questions about torture.
The following video is from CNN.com, broadcast on November 1, 2007.