July 29, 2007

Gonzales Gotcha

Hatched by Dafydd

We rarely do this on Big Lizards, but never say never: In a previous post, with the improbably long title of FBI DIRECTOR SAYS GONZALES LIED! Oh, wait, no he didn't... but we wish he had, we questioned the claim that FBI Director Robert Mueller had "contradicted" Attorney General Gonzales on the issue of which NSA program exactly had sparked a conflict between then-White House Counsel Gonzales and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft (rather, his assistant, James Comey).

Gonzales claimed that the contretemps was not, in fact, over the NSA al-Qaeda international phone call intercept program -- which Congress today refers to as the Terrorist Surveillance Program, TSP -- but rather a different NSA program entirely.

Democrats, with their usual delicacy and gravitas regarding classified information, demanded that Gonzales reveal the secret, classified NSA surveillance he claims was the actual subject of discussion, if not the TSP; and when the AG rejected the invitation to blow yet another vital national-security program, five Democrats demanded the White House appoint a special counsel to prosecute Gonzales for perjury.

The denouncers were...

...Four very liberal Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- Charles Schumer (D-NY, 100%), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, 90%), Russell Feingold (D-WI, 100%), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI -- no rating as yet; he replaced "Republican" Lincoln Chafee) -- plus Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 90%).

Another Democrat -- whoops, my mistake -- a lone Republican on the J-Com, Arlen Specter (R-PA, 43%), rallied support for Gonzales and the president, railing, "Do you expect us to believe that?"

(I'm certain I would have responded, "No; I expect you, per usual, to strut like a delusional rooster who thinks he's a peacock because he shoved a feather duster up his arse," and would promptly have gotten myself jugged.)

But every so often, the universe gives evidence that it is not cold and unfeeling... that it has, in fact, a jolly good sense of humor. Because the very next day (that would be today), Power Line reported the following:

Today the [New York] Times confirms that Gonzales told the truth. The legal dispute that broke out in 2004 was about the NSA's "data mining" project, in which databases of telephone records were reviewed for patterns suggestive of terrorist cells:

A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.

It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate. But such databases contain records of the phone calls and e-mail messages of millions of Americans, and their examination by the government would raise privacy issues.

What's comical about the Times' reporting is that the paper can't bring itself to acknowledge that this means Gonzales has been vindicated...

So it wasn't the TSP after all (whether Arlen Specter believes it or no), it was the phone-record data-mining program... which is, in point of fact, "a different NSA program entirely."

This simply annihilates the Democratic case for frog marching Gonzales out of office to be indicted for perjury; he wriggles off the perjury hook by the unconvincing technicality that he was actually telling, you know, the truth. Or as Hindrocket puts it, "what's generally referred to as 'truth'." Ergo, consider this post nothing more than a gigantic moving finger pointing at John Hinderaker.

But of course, the Democrats have a ready-made response, for which they needn't even look very hard. They will surely argue some variation on the following:

All right, maybe Gonzales was telling the truth this time. But we still need that special prosecutor and grand jury. See, we know he perjured himself somewhere... and with just a few subpoenas and some coerced testimony, we'll find out where!

One certainly cannot accuse the Left of half measures. I can't wait until the obsessed baby boomer Democrats are supplanted by the "yeah, right, whatever" generation.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 29, 2007, at the time of 10:51 PM

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» Gonzales, Intelligence, and Perjury: the Penultimate Word from Big Lizards
Today, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales received his best testimonial yet from the pen (all right, word processor program) of Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell (all right, from some flunky who actually does the typing). Our previous rep... [Read More]

Tracked on August 1, 2007 5:05 PM


The following hissed in response by: Davod

Tha irony of this episode is that the conservative blogs spent so much time attacking Gonzales. Just because you think the guy is incompetent is no reason to jump in bed with every attempt to villify him and bring him down. The liberal blogs, while they do, really have no reason ato say anything, the conservative Blogs do their job for them.

Remember how the conservative Blogs achieved their level of prominence - by fact checking the liberals and the MSM.

Specter should be ashamed of himself and so should all those who jump before checking.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2007 3:07 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye


I know, with friends like that.... Speaking of incompetent, maybe some of these pundits should get all the facts before they started calling other people liars.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2007 3:52 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fat Man

Says here that AG the AG will still be both on 1/19/09. He is the designated pinata, if the POTUS replaced him they would just find another one.

In defense of AG^2, He has far fewer dead bodies on his rap sheet than did the tall lesbian who held the job at the end of a previous millennium.

The above hissed in response by: Fat Man [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2007 5:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: nk

(I'm certain I would have responded, "No; I expect you, per usual, to strut like a delusional rooster who thinks he's a peacock because he shoved a feather duster up his arse," and would promptly have gotten myself jugged.)

Actually, Dafydd, I believe with a half-way decent attorney and judge you would be acquitted. First Amendment freedom of speech and right to petition aside, you would have the perfect defense that you gave a perfectly true and relevant answer in perfect response to a question by your supposed public servant.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2007 9:00 PM

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