February 5, 2006

Senator Chafee on 10 News Conference: Segment 2

Carroll Andrew Morse

Here is a brief summary of Senator Lincoln Chafee’s February 5 appearance on the WJAR-TV (Channel 10) public affairs program 10 News Conference (Sundays, 6:30 am)…

Jim Taricani asks about the “eavesdropping without a warrant” program. The New York Times revealed the program to the public. Should the NYT be required to give up their sources.
Senator Lincoln Chafee answers no, that’s what newpapers do.

Taricani asks even if it damaged the war-on-terror.
Chafee answers that he doesn’t believe that it did.

Bill Rappleye directly asks how the Senator feels about the surveillance program.
Chafee answers that we need to be very careful in war time. Under various WWI acts, 800 people were detained. We must remember that we're fighting to protect our liberties.

Taricani points out that polls show most Americans agree with the surveillance program. Shouldn’t the government have some latitude in this? Rappleye adds particulary when overseas communication is involved.
Chafee answers that the “Law is the law”. Post-September 11, Congress has changed laws addressing surveillance, and warrants are still required.

Rappleye asks if we should end wiretapping.
Chafee answers “or change the law”.

Taricani asks doesn’t FISA have provisions for warrantless surveillance.
Chafee: Then why work outside of FISA?

Taricani asks if President Bush is a threat to the civil liberties of Americans.
Chafee answers that some curtailing of civil liberties during WWI was popular. We have to be careful with civil liberties, and we have now have cases where American citizens have been detained for 3 years.

Taricani asks about the rendition of prisoners to foreign countries.
Chafee answers that all Americans should be following the Hamdi and Padilla cases closely.