The Question Mike McConnell Refused To Answer

John King filled in for Wolf Blitzer on Sunday's Late Edition and the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell joined him to talk about the

John King filled in for Wolf Blitzer on Sunday's Late Edition and the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell joined him to talk about the dust up over the PAA bill. King begins by trying to confuse the audience over the squabble by stating:

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KING: To most Americans out there, and to a guy like me who's spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign, this is highly detailed stuff that's pretty hard to follow.

Why do all of C&L readers understand this issue, but apparently a guy like John King---a man with 20 years in the news business finds it so hard to follow?
At the heart of the controversy is that Bush and Cheney want retroactive immunity for the Telecoms that broke the law by illegally wiretapping Americans and Congress does not. King paints McConnell as a person who isn't interested in politics---he just wants results. If he is so non-political then why didn't he answer the most basic of all the questions King asked? If the Protect America Act is so important to our national security then why not extend the period of time that Congress has to work out a solution? Simple, right? That is---if it's actually a matter of life and death.

KING: To most Americans out there, and to a guy like me who's spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign, this is highly detailed stuff that's pretty hard to follow.

So, the FISA -- the Protect America Act expires. One thing, let me ask you right off the top, Congress says it offered a 21-day extension. Why not just sign on to the 21-day extension and give it three more weeks to try to sort this out?

MCCONNELL: Well, John, since it is so complex, let me just start with the fundamentals, and then, maybe, we can build from there.

No Mike, just answer the question. Read the full transcript of his full answers and you tell me why McConnell played politics with it if he isn't ---you know the only man who doesn't "like to get involved in the politics of all this." Why didn't John King, the seasoned and very serious reporter follow up and make him answer the simplest of all these highly complicated questions to the very complex situation? Why not give Congress a 21 day extension period to work on the PAA?


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And the latest news coming from the Hill is that:

The Bush administration said yesterday that the government “lost intelligence information” because House Democrats allowed a surveillance law to expire last week, causing some telecommunications companies to refuse to cooperate with terrorism-related wiretapping orders.

But hours later, administration officials told lawmakers that the final holdout among the companies had relented and agreed to fully participate in the surveillance program, according to an official familiar with the issue.

What say you know, Mr. McConnell?

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