Monday, February 06, 2006


It’s the start of another week, which means it must also be time for another Bush-Crony to venture to Capitol Hill to defend the latest Administration screw-up/Constitutional recession order.

On today’s docket is Attorney General Alberto “Liberties - Schmiberties” Gonzales.

Gonzales is in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today to defend the administration's domestic eavesdropping program while calling it an essential “early warning system” against further terrorist attacks which Shrub (sorry, I mean Bush… I really have to stop doing that) authorized after the September 11 attacks in order to monitor international telephone calls and e-mail messages of U.S. citizens with the aim to track down terrorism suspects.

Gonzales also denied any and all accusations that the White House has and is breaking the law, which he covered in a prepared statement, which you can read HERE.

It should be noted that many Senators (both Republican and Democrat btw) are challenging the administration's statements that the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Congress gave the “President” any authority to conduct the domestic eavesdropping that is being carried out by the National Security Agency, who says the program was designed to monitor contacts between radicals abroad and associates in the U. S.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (the top Democrat on the committee) insisted Bush had acted “illegally without safeguards” and that the president and Justice Department “do not have unchecked powers to decide what laws to follow.”

The bigger problem the administration has it evident in the hearing’s opening when Chairman Arlen Specter (R – PA) stated that while “the president of the United States has the fundamental responsibility to protect the country ... the president does not have a blank check.” (Why is that a problem you ask? Because Specter is a member of Bush’s party and is not the only one to think that Bush has gone too far with this program)

Other critics believe that the program violates the privacy guarantees in the U.S. Constitution AND violates the law that regulates the monitoring of communications (the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA) which made spying on American citizens in the United States illegal without the approval of a special secret court (my question is this… if all it takes to get a wiretap legally is the approval of a SECRET court, why not just do that… it’s a secret court anyway so, theoretically, no one would know about it. Why violate National law and the US Constitution? That’s what makes my head hurt… trying to figure out why they would violate the law and Constitution when all it takes is Secret Court approval… I’ll say it again; when all it takes is Secret Court approval… but I’m getting off the subject)

Gonzales said Congress had provided the legal basis for the program by authorizing the use of force (again, I’ve said this before…the use of force includes wiretaps? What? Are they hitting the terrorists with the wires?) against terrorists after the September 11 attacks, adding that congressional leaders had been briefed about it more than a dozen times since (and I am sure in each of those dozen times they were informed in the most straight-forward, non double-speak, no-spin-attached wording ever… uh, huh… sure… and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Baghdad… a nice bridge... overlooking the Green Zone)

He said FISA did not always provide the lithe “early warning system” that the government needed in order to protect the country, adding that seeking more explicit authorization from Congress would have spilled intelligence secrets and wasted time (wasted time???)

Gonzales said U.S leaders going back to the first president, George Washington, had authorized the warrantless surveillance of the enemy to fight wars such as the Revolution, the Civil War and World War Two (show me the proof. I want proof more than an AG in 2006 says that Washington used warrantless surveillance. That could very well be the dumbest argument from the Administration yet…)

Gonzales refused to give any examples of how the domestic surveillance program has protected the country (that’s something else I want, proof that the eavesdropping has resulted in a terrorist attack being prevented. It doesn’t look as though it is helping, but what do I know?)

Gonzales is a Bush-Crony of the highest order and will act the way his master will tell him to. He will not say anything of much importance this week and will only cause those of us on the left to bang our heads against the wall at his complete lack of candidness.

Add to that that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) confronted Gonzales about Bush’s now-famous quote that “a wiretap requires a court order.” When confronted with the quote, Gonzales’ defense essentially boiled down to the fact that “the President is not a lawyer.” (Brilliant defense Mr. Gonzales, I can see why you are the nations’ number one lawyer…like we really need someone to tell us this?)

Besides that fact that Gonzales' rhetoric-filled and empty testimony means absoluelty bupkis, it seems to be that when all is said and done (and whether or not you agree or disagree with the wiretaps) American's civil liberties are still being violated and American laws are still being broken. And the Bush-“Whacked” Administration continues to push America deeper and deeper into a trove of dissonance and animosity and is leaving the guided-principles that this country was founded on in the dust.

It is time that this administration is held accountable. Will that ever happen?

Stay tuned…


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of when Bobby Kennedy, as Attorney General, wire tapped Martin Luther King Jr. because King associated with communists.

AngryBell said...

Want to hear a scarier statement from Gonzales? Take a look at the They have an editorial on the site dated from Tuesday where he equates sobriety checkpoints with wiretapping.