Press Briefing by Dana Perino: "MS. PERINO: We do not believe that any extra-constitutional means were necessary in order to help prevent terrorism in the region. And that's why we are deeply disappointed with the actions, and we asked them to not do it.
Q Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?
MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no."
The president claims an inherent power to imprison American citizens whom he has determined to be this country's enemies without obtaining a warrant, letting them hear the charges against them, or following other safeguards against wrongful punishment guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Under his administration, the government has engaged in inhumane treatment of prisoners that amounts to torture — and when Congress passed legislation to ban such treatment, he declared he would simply interpret the law his own way. Although the Constitution says treaties are the "supreme law of the land," the president has abrogated them on his own. And, we now know, he ordered a secret program of electronic surveillance of Americans without court warrants.