Feingold on failed attacks and why Lieberman 'doesn't get it'
Senator Russ Feingold appeared on This Week to discuss the foiled terrorist attack, Iraq and the fact that Joe Lieberman just "doesn't get it."
Fiengold's interview with George Stephanopoulos followed an opening segment with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Chertoff shocking stated that the war in Iraq has made his job to protect the homeland easier. Feingold's response:
"That can't be true. I heard him say Iraq distracts the terrorists. It's just the other way around, it's distracted us. It has sapped us of our resources. I think Osama bin Laden and all his lieutenants and sympathizers are absolutely thrilled that we continue to stay in Iraq for an indefinite period of time as they conduct these operations and get others to conduct operations all the way from Indonesia to Turkey to Madrid to London. We are playing into their hands by having an indefinite commitment in Iraq. It has made us weaker. It's time to recognize that and focus on the kind of thing that that was uncovered this weekÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. That's what we should have been focusing on all along."The conversation then shifted to Fiengold's opposition to warrantless wiretapping and the Patriot Act:
George Stephanopoulos: You heard Secretary Chertoff make the point that the intensive surveillance tools that the Brits had and the United States hadÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ has really been a key, that these are key tools in the War on TerrorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. You were the first senator, only senator to vote against the original Patriot Act. You've been a strong critic of the warrantless wiretapping program. Does this success suggestÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ that those more flexible rules may be necessary?
Senator Feingold: Well, notice what the secretary said. He said we want to respect the British system. That's all I ask, that we respect the American legal system. I support wiretapping of terrorists. I have absolutely no problem with that. I just think it should be done within the law and as the secretary acknowledged we have updated some aspects of that and I don't oppose those updates, but I just want the White House to stop making up their own lawsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
George Stephanopoulos: As you said, you're on the intelligence committee. Do you have any evidence that the warrantless wiretapping was used here?
Senator Feingold: Ã¢â‚¬Â¦I have seen absolutely nothing to indicate that there's any need to do anything beyond the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Everything that we want to do, we can do within the actÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. You know, the White House has been too obsessed with expanding executive power and not sufficiently focused on these kinds of issues, of the terrorist threat around the worldÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.The interview ended with a brief discussion on Lieberman's decision to run as an Independent and his (Dick Cheney like) statements suggesting that a vote for Lamont is a victory for the terrorists: