At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan was asked to explain why Bush last year said, 'Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.' McClellan said the quote referred only to the USA Patriot Act.On the other hand, it is true that the quote in question comes from a speech about the Patriot Act. The rest of the relevant paragraph is as follows.
It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.It's not clear what Bush really had in mind.
He now seems to be claiming that the constitution—which he says he "values"—doesn't require a court order. If that's the case, why did he claim then that they did? Is the point that when he follows the law, a court order is required, but when he chooses not to follow the law it isn't?
In other words, Bush was saying that the Patriot Act requires a court order for a wire tap. Apparently what he didn't bother to say was that he does not believe he is limited by the Patriot Act when he orders wire taps.