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John Kerry Calls for Independent Counsel to Investigate Bush Warrentless Wiretaps

by Pamela Leavey

John Kerry was on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, this morning. He spoke against Bush’s warrantless wiretaps, calling them “a clear violation of the law.”

(AP Photo/ABC News, Linda Spillers)

Kerry said “that the administration has made no effort to consult Congress about any possible alteration to the law that he says restricts the wiretaps — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA,” and called for a special counsel and independent investigation into the matter.

In the interview John Kerry announced his intent to vote against Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. when the vote goes to the Senate floor this week. Kerry missed most of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings during an overseas tour of India, Pakistan, Iraq and Kuwait. He told Stephanopoulos that Alito would take the country “backwards.”

When asked about “outside criticism that his Democratic colleagues may have focused on relatively inconsequential issues during the hearings,” Kerry said, “That is certainly the criticism I have heard.”

The discussion moved on to Osama bin Laden and Kerry repeated his belief that “the White House failed to commit the proper resources to capture Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora in Afghanistan.” He also chastised Karl Rove for “continuing to make the war on terror a priority political issue” in his recent speech to fire up the GOP base for the 2006 elections.

Speaking of the Bush administration’s efforts in the war on terror and the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, Kerry said, “Osama Bin Laden is going to die of kidney failure before he’s killed by Karl Rove and his crowd.”

Although it’s been well established that the Abramoff scandal is a “Republican” scandal, Stephanopoulos made the suggestion culled from the right wing blogosphere, that his presidential campaign accepted over $100,000 in what Republicans have termed “[Jack] Abramoff-affiliated lobbying firms.” None of the right wing rumors on this have been substantiated.

“I’ve never met Jack Abramoff,” Kerry said. “I’ve never taken a dime from Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, primarily is known as a Republican lobbyist but has ties to members of both parties.

“This is a Republican scandal,” he added. “They run the House, they run the Senate, and they run the White House.”

Kerry laid blame squarely on the shoulders of his former foe, President George W. Bush.

“The president sets the tone,” he said.

REUTERS/ABC News/Linda Spillers/

Although Kerry has been clear for sometime now that he would not discuss his intentions for 2008, Stephanopoulos, queried Kerry on his plans for the 2008 presidential election — Kerry responded with a hearty laugh… “That’s a decision for the future,” he said.

Stephanopoulos threw up several “critical, but mostly anonymous quotes from Democratic consultants” about Kerry’s possibility for 2008 and John Kerry countered with, “You’re looking at the expert at not listening to the chatter of Washington, D.C.”

Without tipping his hat but continuing to defend the notion of a comeback candidacy, Kerry reminded viewers of the successful second-run Republican campaigns of Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and, potentially, Sen. John McCain.

Kerry, who fell 100,000 votes short of the presidency in Ohio, turned to ABC News anchor Stephanopoulos and said, “I’m not going to be moved by the … anonymous chatter of Washington.”

John Kerry has been always been his own man, ignoring the polls, dismissing the rumors. He has discussed many times in the past year that he has learned a lot from his run for the presidency in 2004. He “moved by the … anonymous chatter” and neither should anyone else. The Republican Noise Machine will perpetuate these rumors over and over again, a Kerry candidacy in 2008, is their worst nightmare.

UPDATE: The full transcript of the interview is available here.

15 Responses to “John Kerry Calls for Independent Counsel to Investigate Bush Warrentless Wiretaps”

  1. Kerry is clearly taking pole position in the 2008 race. Hillary has disappeared and seems satisfied to let others do the dirty work, probably hoping a “no controversy” position will sway the moderates while others get the Republican swift-boat treatment. I’m not trashing her, I just think there are a lot of people out there who are waiting for her to come out of her shell. Kerry, along with Dean and Reid, have been the constant drumbeat of discord with the current administration. More significantly, he is one democrat that refuses to let the pundits put him on the defensive. His ability to stay on message is vital to the party right now.

  2. Thanks for this, Pamela! JK was great today. I agree with Heyduke that he is “taking the pole position in the 2008 race.” Makes me happy to see it!

  3. I agree with you completely, Heduke, about Kerry’s refusal to be put on the defensive. This loftiness and sticking to the important issues has always been the case and one of his finest characteristics. It was miraculous how he didn’t stoop to the low level during the campaign and we will be the ones reaping the rewards.
    I think he is the real party leader so we are in good hands. He is a natural leader and people always instinctively follow him.

  4. Forgot the “y”, Heyduke. Here it is.

  5. Teresa!! My lady, How are you? I have to go to New Orleans tomorrow. I hope to get some exclusive pics for the Dem Daily. I don’t know how much I will be able to get, because I have to take one of my co-workers along with me. I hope he is willing to take a ride after the class we go to lets out. Email me when you get a chance. I usually check my mail at least a couple of times a week. I wanted to get in touch with some people, to try to get an interview with Mayor Nagen, but I don’t know if it will ever happen.

  6. Interesting, Donnie, that I went to the World Can’t Wait Tribunal on Bush and his crimes against humanity. Today’s session was planned parenthood and the crime of not giving information and funding that could save lives, in favor of abstinence only to undeserving and inexperienced small groups.

    But mostly on the misuse or nonexistent funding for the Katrina levees, and the lack of evacuation response. A Dr. Wright, great addition to the environmental racism, and who accused them of wanting to get rid of Black, swing Democratic East NO. A homeowner area that pays a great part of the tax base.

    Talk of the right of return issue, and that neighborhoods will be levelled or stolen, if 50% of homeowners don’t return. They were placed with one year leases in places outside of New Orleans and would have to pay the balance. Those who did return don’t know if they should spend further money on their homes, if to be taken away.

    Convincing testimony of inhumane treatment of people.

  7. Goddess, wasn’t it 60,000 votes, like a partially filled football stadium.

  8. Marjorie G

    I do believe you are right on that – let me find a link and correct ABC.

  9. Kerry knows that he was elected in many ways that we’ll never know.

    He will continue to lead with that knowledge, whether the huber left, or others contending or positioning, are happy about it.

    They should be grateful that someone credibile, persuasive, and who speaks from the heart is willing to put himself out there. I had a convert today in a friend who thought him decent, but just didn’t get him. Now she does.

  10. Coverage in The Boston Globe:

    http://www.boston.com/news/…/…/…/…/01/22/kerry_…_wont_vote_for_alito/

  11. Do they always have to say failed?

  12. Marjorie G

    I was thinking the same thing. What is up with that? The snide dig whenever opportune. I miss Thomas Oliphant at the Globe.

    Good news about yor convert! Wonderful news actually. I’ll bet that feels mighty good!

  13. Heyduke

    What you said, all of it. Right there with you!

  14. Marjorie, a hug to you for the convert.
    Donnie, good luck!

  15. Donnie, my man!! Good to see you!