Cameron: "Democrats complaining about the NSA programs" without knowing all the details "is precisely why Republicans say Democrats just aren't serious about security"

Video ››› ››› BEN FISHEL

Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron suggested that "the idea that so many Democrats are complaining about the NSA programs without really knowing what they are is precisely why so many Republicans say Democrats just aren't serious about security."

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On the May 11 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron suggested that "the idea that so many Democrats are complaining about the NSA [National Security Agency] programs without really knowing what they are is precisely why so many Republicans say Democrats just aren't serious about security."

Concern about both the recently disclosed NSA program that collects phone call records of millions of Americans, and the previously disclosed warrantless domestic surveillance program, has been bipartisan, as Media Matters for America has documented. On the May 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, former House Speaker and Fox News political contributor Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said of the newly disclosed program: "I'm not going to defend the indefensible. The Bush administration has an obligation to level with the American people. ... But I don't think the way they've handled this can be defended by reasonable people. It is sloppy. It is contradictory, and frankly for normal Americans, it makes no sense to listen to these three totally different explanations."

In fact, even Cameron's own report indicated that House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was head of the NSA from 1999 until 2005, "will have a lot more explaining to do" about the two NSA domestic monitoring programs before being confirmed as the new director of the CIA.

From the May 11 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

CAMERON: Democrats pointedly suggested that Hayden's confirmation could be held up until questions about NSA's program are more fully answered.

SEN. CHARLES E. SCHUMER (D-NY) [video clip]: He was head of NSA. And if the administration is just going to stonewall, as they have done in the past to not give us answers, we have no choice but to ask General Hayden to answer those questions before going forward with a confirmation.

CAMERON: Even the Republican majority leader of the House, John Boehner, indicated that Hayden's confirmation may have been complicated.

BOEHNER [video clip]: I think he will have a lot more explaining to do.

CAMERON: Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat Diane Feinstein of California agreed. She has spoken favorably about Hayden's nomination and the various NSA programs as one lawmaker who has been briefed. But Democrats want more lawmakers in the loop. And she suggested that keeping others in the dark could set back Hayden's confirmation.

FEINSTEIN [video clip]: I think this is also going to present a growing impediment to the confirmation of General Hayden, and I think that's very regretted.

CAMERON: The White House says the reason more lawmakers are not briefed is to prevent leaks and keep the NSA programs working to protect the country. And the idea that so many Democrats are complaining about the NSA programs without really knowing what they are is precisely why so many Republicans say Democrats just aren't serious about security. Brit?

From the May 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

ALAN COLMES (co-host): Then he [President Bush] said, when it came out a little while ago that there was some wiretapping, he said it only applies to international communications. And now we're finding something else. So it just seems we're not getting a consistent story here, are we?

GINGRICH: No. You're not.

COLMES: Why not?

GINGRICH: Look, I'm not -- Alan, I'm not going to defend the indefensible. The Bush administration has an obligation to level with the American people.

And I'm prepared to defend a very aggressive antiterrorist campaign, and I'm prepared to defend the idea that the government ought to know who's making the calls, as long as that information is only used against terrorists, and as long as the Congress knows that it's under way. But I don't think the way they've handled this can be defended by reasonable people. It is sloppy. It is contradictory, and frankly for normal Americans, it makes no sense to listen to these three totally different explanations.

COLMES: Let me also show you --

GINGRICH: I hate to disappoint you, Alan.

COLMES: Well, I appreciate your candid response. And I'd like to show you what [Attorney General] Alberto Gonzales said during his confirmation hearings on this very same issue.

Posted In
Justice & Civil Liberties, Domestic Spying
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Carl Cameron
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume, Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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