It’s pretty clear that there’s only one reason why Alberto “Fredo” Gonzales didn’t commit perjury: Because GOP senators arranged for his March testimony to not be under oath, and an oath is required for perjury. It’s equally as clear that he lied to Congress, and he should suffer for it. But it demands we consider: Why are the AG and POTUS so concerned about the fact of dissension within DoJ about their program? It can’t be to avoid the appearance of illegality, because the President has admitted to committing repeated felonies since 9/11, in his flagrant disregard of FISA; and apparently that wasn’t enough to trigger DoJ concerns.
What had they been doing, that is so beyond the pale that the acting AG, the actual AG, the director of the FBI, and virtually the entire upper staff at DoJ were willing to resign en masse rather than stomach? This can’t be anything as prosaic as violating FISA or even just simple data mining. What was this Administration doing, that even four years later, they are so terrified of becoming public that the Attorney General is willing to debase, embarrass, and all but perjure himself?
I don’t know (sorry) but I have a pretty strong suspicion. Other than a good juicy sex scandal (and I don’t believe that’s at the heart of this, though you can never rule it out), there is only one thing that is so terrible, so unthinkable, that the merest hint it had happened could in fact rouse the notoriously soporific American public. I think that if the fact ever do come out — and, if the next Administration is a Democratic one, the facts will come out — I will be proved right by history.
Here’s my speculation:
These thugs were using the NSA to spy on Americans for the express purpose of steering the Presidential election to George W. Bush.
It’s possible that this man has stolen not one election, but two. And I still have faith in America: The truth will out, and the wicked will suffer. It’s just a matter of time.
With exactly 18 months left to go in office, this President has made a sweeping and unprecedented play for unchecked power. According to a Washington Post article, the President intends to claim that Congress cannot pursue its investigation into the political firing of 9 US Attorneys, because the President has exerted a broad “executive privilege” that (he claims) exempts his former underlings from testifying. By statute, enforcement of a contempt-of-Congress citation is handled through the Department of Justice, which must convene a grand jury on the matter. According to the Bush faction, because the Justice Department is a part of the executive branch and because Bus claims that the executive branch is “unitary” (an untried and abominable constitutional theory), the DoJ cannot take action that doesn’t conform to the “will” of the President.
Let that sink in there. Our government is now to be determined by the “emanations of the will of the President” — not by, say, the laws on the books (which clearly mandate that the DoJ pursue any contempt-of-Congress charge sent to it). One scholar called the attempted power grab “almost Nixonian in its scope and breadth of interpreting its power”. It’s time to stop pussy-footing around. This makes Nixon look like a little child. Even Nixon recognized that there were some checks on Presidential power; the Bush White House feels there are none.
More below the fold.
(written 2007 0412; extended 2007 0413)
I’ll admit that this post is basically ripped off from Glenn Greenwald, whom you should read for details. I just wanted to collect all the points in a clean, stripped version. The subject? The amazing and disturbing “incompetence” demonstrated by the Bush administration in producing records that might put it in a bad light. How many times must we accept the excuse “The dog ate my homework” before everyone recognizes that this is actually criminal malfeasance. I know that you should “never ascribe to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity” — but come on — this is passing from unbelievable to ridiculous:
| 2007 0412
|| Emails regarding plans to fire US Attorneys, allegedly sent via RNC accounts|
| 2007 0324
|| 18 days of emails (this time from the Justice Department and White House) regarding plans to fire US Attorneys
| 2007 0228
||Videotape of the final interrogation of detained US citizen Jose Padilla, which could shed light on whether he had been tortured.
| 2004 0624
|| Memos regarding the White House policies on torture
|| Over 2,000 pages of a classified report, missing from the copy submitted to Congressional oversight committees, regarding possible abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib
|| Legally-required documents to explain gaps in President Bush’s service — or, more usually, lack thereof — in the Air National Guard
|| Transcript of a videoconference call that directly contradicted the White House story on how engaged the President was during the Katrina debacle. The administration told Congress that no such transcript existed — then oops! it was found and leaked.
|| FBI records indicating agency participation in the interrogation of anti-war protesters in 2002. The FBI denied that the secret intelligence unit was present, except — oops! — DC police logs show that it was.
||Emails relating to the case against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, for illegally disclosing the identity of a covert CIA operative
||Videotape records of abuse by federal guards of foreign citizens detained after the 9/11 attacks.
How do they expect anyone to believe their story?
PS: If you have links to any similar events, I’d appreciate hearing them and I’ll add them to the list. And before the wingbats take over the comment space, yes, I’ve heard of Sandy Berger and yes, that was reprehensible. What’s your point?