ED MEESE [ed., a fine rightwing specimen from the Nixon and Reagan days], HERITAGE FOUNDATION: At least 42 terrorist attacks aimed at the United States have been thwarted since 9/11. Tools like the Patriot Act have been instrumental in finding and stopping terrorists.So, he's against changing the Patriot Act. O.K., that's fine, after all, to me, its provisions are intrusive enough already. He then asserts, "I'm not aware of any specific change it needs." O.K., agreed, let's not make it worse, and with this particular Congress, making it less intrusive is a non-starter. Yet, Gingo's apparently open to any change it might need, as long as he becomes aware of it. That leaves a lot of wiggle room, and Newt loves to wiggle. [Note that there are many proposals to amend the Patriot Act, particularly in the area of cyber-security - collecting citizen data, increased "information sharing" etc.]
Shouldn't we have a long range extension of the investigative powers contained in that act so that our law enforcement officers can have the tools that they need?
"An idea germinates within . . ."
[Omitted - Gingrich supports extending the Patriot Act "and building an honest understanding that all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives. This is not going to end in the short run."]
BLITZER: So, Speaker, just to clarify, you wouldn't change the Patriot Act?
GINGRICH: No, I would not change it. I'm not aware of any specific change it needs. And I'd look at strengthening it, because I think the dangers are literally that great. And again, I've spent years studying this stuff. You start thinking about one nuclear weapon in one American city and the scale of loss of life and you ask yourself, what should the president be capable of doing to stop that?
Next, though, is Newt's promise that he'd "look a strengthening it," although in the previous sentence, less than two seconds behind him, he maintained the Patriot Act didn't need changing. Confusing? Or a MENSA mind too deep for us to follow?
I pick "mendacious" - a person given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth. That's how Gingo's mind works. You can't teach this kind of seemingly crafty deceitfulness. It's inherent. In less than three seconds, he took positions that were contrary to each other. One cannot "strengthen" the Patriot Act, without changing it. These abrupt turns in his thought seek two results - to have deniability ("No. I never said that!") and to widen his wiggle room (No. I never ruled that out!). He doesn't have to conjure up these contradictory positions on the fly, they emanate from him like chitin from a Venus fly trap.