Friday, February 10, 2006


President Bush has been defending his spying program again, this time in a retreat of the Republican Campus. The press was present but then they were ushered out of the room, and Bush didn't know that the mikes were still on when he said this:

Reporters then were ushered out - "I support the free press, let's just get them out of the room," Bush said - so the president could speak privately to his fellow Republicans.

"I want to share some thoughts with you before I answer your questions," said Bush, unaware that microphones were still on and were transmitting his comments back to the White House press room. "First of all, I expect this conversation we're about to have to stay in the room. I know that's impossible in Washington."

That was not to be - and it was telling that the president chose the controversial NSA program as the first topic to raise out of reporters' earshot. Even so, there was no substantive difference between those statements and the series of public speeches he has given recently to defend the program.