"One 2 minute phone conversation...here...operative overseas...could lead to loss of American lives. "
President Bush vehemently defended the rationale behind the wire-tapping program in a press conference Monday morning.
He insists he has the legal authority to authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop domestically without warrants.
But Bill Dressel, the President of the National Judicial College based here in Reno, says not so fast: "The constitution is saying no matter who you are, they can't go in there and listen to your telephone calls. They can't be seizing material from you unless they have a reason to do it."
Dressel understands the president is playing the "war" card: that we are living in extraordinary times with terrorism...and that calls for extraordinary measures.
But he says public suspicion is high...for two reasons.
One, if we start to phone-tap, where will the spying measures end? And two, does the public even have a fundamental trust for this administration?
"What you have here is a basic "trust me" situation. I will only use it when I deem it required to in the most serious of situations with someone of a terrorist background. The problem is we know from the polls right now that trust level is low."