Jed, good work last night and good luck tonight. But one thing I'm still trying to figure out is why would the President not simply use the law on the books to approach secret courts for approval on these taps?
The only way my imagination can rationalize it is by seeing the surveillance as a far broader activity than could possibly be performed if warrants had to be sought regularly from the "secret court," which I imagine looks something like Judge Judy's court, only with worse lighting and smoke for effect.
The press seems incredulous at the moment that Bush actually offered frank honesty as a result of this. The New York Times offered:
Mr. Bush's public confirmation on Saturday of the existence of one of the country's most secret intelligence programs, which had been known to only a select number of his aides, was a rare moment in his presidency. Few presidents have publicly confirmed the existence of heavily classified intelligence programs like this one.
The Washington Post, a little more desperately trying to point out how unusual this speech was:
The speech ran about seven minutes, slightly longer than his usual radio addresses.
The L.A. Times has absolutely nothing on it, aside from the transcript of Bush's comments. It did, however, have this quote from Chuck Schumer:
"I went to bed undecided. But today's revelation is shocking," Schumer said. "If this government will discard a law that has worked well for over 30 years without a whit of discussion or notice, then for sure we better be certain that we have safeguards on that government."
In short, what he was really saying was, "What? An opportunity to vote against an important national security measure? To the No-Mobile!"