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Now Bush is Lincoln-esque, according to John Gibson

Reported by Chrish - December 20, 2005

The top story on the Big Story today 12/20/05 was the fallout from the revelation that Bush illegally authorized domestic spying on Americans. Of course it wasn't presented as such; FOX is in full defensive mode with the White House. The actions, dubbed the "White House domestic spying program", are creditied by VP Cheney with saving thousands of lives, and Bush is compared to Abraham Lincoln for taking these actions in a time of (unending) war.

FOX regular Alisyn Camerota covered Dick Cheney in Pakistan, saying that it is no accident that we have not had a terrorist attack in the four years since September 11. He accuses critics of the illegal spying (referred to as "the program") of being hypocrites: "First they say our intelligence agencies did not connect the dots before 9/11, now they don't like how they connect the dots afterward."

Comment: Note how the emphasis is on the actions being an "anti-terrorism program", sweeping away the manner in which it has been carried out. It's the illegality, stupid.

Camerota references a Newsweek article by Jonathan Alter, saying he wrote "an article that compares Bush to a dictator" (said with an "if you can believe that! look) who thought 9/11 gave him license to do whatever he wanted with or without Congressional approval. She goes on to say that Alter says this will be proven to be illegal - "that's his theory."

Gibson says that "the I word", impeachment, is brought up by Alter - anyone else? Camerota's answer in full: "I've only read it in Jonathan Alter but the scenario that he lays out for this to happen would be if in 2006 the Democrats win back control of Congress, and if these Congressional committees that are being set up determine that this spying was illegal , well then it's possible that articles of impeachment could be drawn up based on abuse of power." (Note how it is framed that only Democrats would pursue impeachment, making it a partisan "tactic" rather than a patriotic and Constitutional duty. There is no question that Republicans would ever impeach Bush which should frighten these "patriots" rather than soothe them.)

Gibson's answer was to bring up "Abraham Lincoln: suspended habeus corpus and rounded up his enemies."

Camerota, clearly reading from notes, took the ball and ran with it: "He also declared martial law, he also instituted military tribunals, there are parallels. (picture of Honest Abe appears for the really really dense viewers) Abraham Lincoln did all this at the height of the civil war because he felt that self-preservation based upon Article 11 of the Constitution allowed (sic) to do things that trumped civil rights. "

Comment: Ah yes, the everybody does it defense. Let some of that Honest title rub off on Bush the unbelievable, set some vague and scant historical reference, and MOVE ON.

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