Friday, May 18, 2007

Some comments regarding the Comey vs. Gonzo drama:

  • Dahlia Lithwick sums it up nicely, "The White House went ahead and reauthorized a controversial, presidential-power-grabbing program deemed illegal by the Justice Department, after trying to extract permission from a critically sick John Ashcroft who didn't quite know what day it was." Just when you thought these guys could go no lower, they find a level beyond zero. Can it get any more despicable than this? They're not even above bedside bullying.

  • Dan Froomkin writes, "So what was the [warrantless wiretapping] program like before that -- when it was illegal even in the opinion of Bush's own Justice Department? What was the government doing for two and a half years -- starting soon after September 11, 2001, through the spring of 2004? That is -- or at least should be -- the question of the day in Washington." It appears as if for 2+ years GW and his administration violated the law. As for Froomkin's last sentence, there are so many questions of the day concerning numerous scandals and controversies that it's very difficult to focus on just one.

  • Dick Polman writes, "The lurid intrigue starring Alberto Gonzales (who else) - in which the then-White House counsel is depicted racing to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed in 2004, in order to inveigle the seriously ill attorney general to sign off on a domestic eavesdropping program that had already been deemed illegal by Ashcroft’s chief deputy at Justice - is just the latest drip-drip disclosure of the Bush team’s aversion to the rule of law." Ahh yes, "aversion to the rule of law" -- didn't that once constitute a favorite line by Republicans for impeachment proceedings? Oh, how times have changed.

  • Glenn Greenwald writes, "The overarching point here, as always, is that it is simply crystal clear that the President consciously and deliberately violated the law and committed multiple felonies by eavesdropping on Americans in violation of the law....What more glaring and clear evidence do we need that the President of the United States deliberately committed felonies, knowing that his conduct lacked any legal authority? And what justifies simply walking away from these serial acts of deliberate criminality? At this point, how can anyone justify the lack of criminal investigations or the appointment of a Special Counsel? The President engaged in extremely serious conduct that the law expressly criminalizes and which his own DOJ made clear was illegal." Indeed, imagine if this were Bill Clinton, the GOP and right-wing scream-o-sphere would be ape-shit crazy with condemnation and calls for booting him from office. The level of hypocrisy is incredible. (Oh, and it would be nice to see some Dems grow some real spine).

  • Doesn't this Keystone Kops race-to-hospital remind you of another similar incident? You know, when Newt Gingrich broke the news to his ailing wife, who was in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer, that he was leaving her. Just more examples of that "compassionate conservatism" we hear so much about....

  • And now this nonsense, "The Justice Department said yesterday that it will not retract a sworn statement in 2006 by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that the Terrorist Surveillance Program had aroused no controversy inside the Bush administration, despite congressional testimony Tuesday that senior departmental officials nearly resigned in 2004 to protest such a program." Apparently the threat of mass resignations does not qualify as controversy within the the administration. Black is white, and vice versa. Sounds like another lie from our top lawyer -- unless you assume Comey is doing the lying. Good luck with that wager.
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