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BIDEN Issues Statement on McCain's Support of Bush Wire-Tapping


Location: Washington, DC

BIDEN Issues Statement on McCain's Support of Bush Wire-Tapping

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today after news reports indicated that Senator McCain supports President Bush's wire-tapping program:

"Senator McCain has now not only joined the company of President Bush - but also President Nixon - in taking the position that as President he would consider himself above the law. In 1978, I helped draft the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which made clear the exclusive legal steps the President must take in order to conduct national security surveillance. President Bush chose to ignore the law and now it seems Senator McCain will continue this policy. Once again - there is no daylight between President Bush and Sen. McCain.

"I said during the FISA debate in 1978 that "it is not necessary to compromise civil liberties in the name of national security." That's as true today, even in a time of war, as it was then. We all share the goal of capturing the terrorists and protecting national security and we can do that without violating the privacy of the American people. Like President Bush, Sen. McCain is presenting the American people with a false choice—national security or civil liberties. We need a President who understands that we can have both. It's what our values and our Constitution demands."

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