August 1, 2007
Gonzales, Intelligence, and Perjury: the Penultimate Word
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 reporting on this issue can be spelunked here:
As the post is fairly long -- but absolutely fascinating, riveting! -- I'm tucking the rest into the "slither on;" I urge you to read it; I can personally vouch that the author is brilliant when sober.
McConnell sent a letter to Arlen Specter (R-PA, 43%), ranking Republican on Chairman Pat Leahy's (D-VT, 95%) Senate Committee on the Judiciary, trying to explain to Specter -- as if to a retarded seventh grader -- why Gonzales, in telling the truth, therefore did not lie:
In a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), McConnell wrote that the executive order following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks included "a number of . . . intelligence activities" and that a name routinely used by the administration -- the Terrorist Surveillance Program -- applied only to "one particular aspect of these activities, and nothing more."
"This is the only aspect of the NSA activities that can be discussed publicly, because it is the only aspect of those various activities whose existence has been officially acknowledged," McConnell said....
McConnell's letter was aimed at defending Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales from allegations by Democrats that he may have committed perjury by telling Congress that no legal objections were raised about the TSP. Gonzales said a legal fight in early 2004 was focused on "other intelligence activities" than those confirmed by Bush, but he never connected those to Bush's executive order.
Gonzales had been asked point blank, during Senate J-Com testimony, whether the argument in the hospital was over the TSP; he therefore, honestly and accurately, said no, it was about a different program... and he then offered to go into secret session to describe exactly what program he and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft discussed.
Chairman Leahy, however, had zero interest in finding out; he was only interested in screaming "perjury!" and demanding a special counsel (all right, manipulating four other Democrats on the committee, plus Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid, D-Caesar's Palace, 90%, into screaming perjury and demanding a special counsel; see links above.)
This seems pretty conclusive. So why "penultimate?" Because I cannot imagine that the Democrats -- and their RINO acolytes, such as Arlen Specter -- will discard the perjury card merely because Gonzales told the truth. I sense another shoe about to drop.
As it happens, I'm not just whistling past the gravy train; revisionism has already started. Now it turns out that even if Gonzales fully and truthfully answered the question, he still "misled Congress" because he did not immediately disclose every classified intelligence program in our arsenal... on national TV:
Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), who was among a group of four Democratic senators who called last week for a perjury investigation of Gonzales, said: "The question of whether Attorney General Gonzales perjured himself looms as large now as it did before this letter.
"This letter is no vindication of the attorney general," he said.
Is it just me? Shouldn't the revelation that a statement thought perhaps to be perjury was in fact completely truthful at least make it implausible that it was also perjury?
And what about our esteemed RINO from Pennsylvania? Arlen Specter is witholding comment, as the Democrats have yet to give him a lead:
Specter was noncommittal yesterday on whether McConnell's explanation resolved his questions about the accuracy of Gonzales's previous testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Specter is the ranking Republican. Specter said he was waiting for a separate letter from the attorney general to provide additional clarification.
"If he doesn't have a plausible explanation, then he hasn't leveled with the committee," Specter said on CNN. Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said that "the department will continue to work with Senator Specter to address his concerns" but declined to comment further.
Pssst... Sen. Specter: Perhaps Gonzales' "plausible explanation" for why he said that there was no dissent on the TSP, that it was on a different intelligence program instead, is that there was no dissent on the TSP... it was on a different intelligence program instead. You think?
Finally, the Washington Post indulges in one of liberalism's favorite ploys; they quote an allegedly unbiased expert to "analyze" the situation -- which analysis, oddly enough, always seems to point exclusively in one direction:
Kate Martin, executive director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the new disclosures show that Gonzales and other administration officials have "repeatedly misled the Congress and the American public" about the extent of NSA surveillance efforts.
[Sidebar: Am I the only person who has no recollection of Gonzales or President Bush ever claiming that the TSP was the only surveillance program we had? I would certainly hope we have many more than one -- and in fact, many more than are known by the editors at the elite media.]
"They have repeatedly tried to give the false impression that the surveillance was narrow and justified," Martin said. "Why did it take accusations of perjury before the DNI disclosed that there is indeed other, presumably broader and more questionable, surveillance?"
The "Center for National Security Studies" is a bitter, relentless partisan in the conflict between Congress and the White House over who should run this war (and previous wars, even back to the Clinton administration): From their website, it appears they invariably take the side of Congress in trying to extract information, no matter how heavily classified, from the Executive. Too, Kate Martin is a professor at ultra-liberal Georgetown University.
So we are shocked, shocked to discover that she is 100% on the side of Pat Leahy and Chuck Schumer (D-NY, 100%) in demanding that Albert Gonzales brief all members of both houses of Congress on every last intelligence surveillance program under the NSA, CIA, or any other intelligence agency.
Martin and her fellow Democrats demand that Leahy, et al, of the Senate Judiciary Committee be briefed -- including the fifteen J-Com members who are not members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence... and there is a reason it's called "select;" J-Com Chairman Leahy in particular was expelled from the Intelligence Committee... for leaking classified information (hence his nickname).
I guess Kate Martin has never heard the words "need to know."
And the Democratic House is now competing with the Democratic Senate to see who can make the most outrageous demand. On Monday, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI, 100%) -- who had evidently read the New York Times and Washington Post articles revealing that the Gonzales-Ashcroft main event really was about a different program than the TSP -- fired off an angry letter to Attorney General Gonzales insisting that Gonzales spill the beans about every intelligence program we have... to John Conyers, who is not a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and never has been:
We have two potential concerns with the disclosure. First, at a time when the Administration is seeking to make changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it is imperative that all members of the House Judiciary Committee be fully apprised of these controversial, and possibly unlawful, programs, and any related programs....
We now request copies of all opinions, memoranda, and background materials, as well as any dissenting views, materials, and opinions regarding the same, concerning the database program disclosed by the media yesterday.
Yow. Why doesn't the White House just burn a few hundred CDs containing the complete NSA and CIA databases and pass them out to all 535 members of Congress?
(All right, 540 -- counting D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the delegates to the territories of American Samoa, Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, Guam, Madeleine Bordallo, and the United States Virgin Islands, Donna M. Christian-Christensen, and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño.)
And all their aides, of course; mustn't forget the congressional aides, including those who are still teenagers. After all, if you can't trust a teenaged girl with a deep and vital intelligence secret, well who can you trust?
The ultimate word of the Penultimate Word is this: Democrats in Congress will not rest until we have no secrets, none whatsoever; everything we know, every program we undertake to develop actionable intelligence against past, current, and future terrorist threats, should be instantly and unreservedly shared with thousands of senators, representatives, delegates, aides -- and anyone else that anyone else might choose to enlighten.
The insanity (and inanity) of this position is manifest and requires no explanation. But the implication is chilling. This demand isn't just surrendering in Iraq; the Democratic Party's overt position has now become one of utter American defeat in the broader war against global hirabah ("unholy war"). Because if we were to reveal all that we were doing to collect intelligence... well, then we might as well not bother doing it, because none of it would work anymore.
Leahy is not an idiot, and neither is Schumer nor Conyers. They know the logical consequences of what they demand. So why do they demand it?
Straightforward question, simple answer: They believe "Nixoning" Bush, accusing him of a coverup, will help their political fortunes in 2008.
What I cannot answer is whether the motivation is core hatred of America as it currently exists... or depraved indifference to what, if we lost this war, America might become.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 1, 2007, at the time of 5:03 PM
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» Dr. Winner and Mr. Loser - UPDATED from Big Lizards
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Tracked on August 13, 2007 3:00 PM
The following hissed in response by: AMR
Big lizard, thanks a lot; apparently the suicide pact being developed by congress for the United States is closer to completion than I had realized. The white flag Republicans and copperhead Democrats in congress had better remember that Sharia Law is less forgiving than the good old FBI, federal prosecutors and the rest of the executive branch. Leaky Leahy certainly would not escape stoning or the dull knife. Obviously, congressional members haven’t read the reports of the fate of many of the wise intellectuals who supported the Iranian revolution or of the well educated and professionals in Iraq. No one likes or respect traitors; just a figure of speech, but you do not gain the respect of an enemy by kowtowing. But, hey, if you see no enemy because of BDS tunnel vision, what you can’t see, can’t hurt you, right!
The following hissed in response by: cdquarles
I am reliving my high school days. We have dhimmicrats, with their willing accomplices in the drive-by media, ginning up a scandal. We have dhimmicrats, with their willing accomplices in the drive-by media threatening capital formation with stupid taxes, threatening employment by raising minimum wages; and finally, threatening our way of life by threatening oil companies and medical care with nationalization.
The above hissed in response by: cdquarles at August 1, 2007 7:34 PM
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
I swear to God, these people will not be happy until there is a mushroom cloud over an American city.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
"No, that's not the right city."
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at August 2, 2007 5:43 AM
The following hissed in response by: howardhughes
We must not forget that many elected Congressional Democrats, perhaps a majority, are Socialists or support Socialist and anarchistic interest groups. They are trying to bring down the Capitalist system we live under and replace it with a Socialist system, bigger government and a citizenry dependent on the government and therefore on them. The easiest way to accomplish this is to win elections and gain the majority vote. And what better way to win elections than to paint your opponents as crooks, liars and cheats. Never mind issues and policies. Fill up the political conversation with cries of crime and incompetence. Put obstacles in the way of beneficial programs and policies. The current crop of Democrats are not like those that fought and helped win WWII and the Cold War. Many of these new Democrats opine that the Soviet Union did not have an adequate opportunity to bring Communism to fruition. So let us not overlook what is really at stake in the smear attack on the Attorney-General and attacks on others that will invariably follow.
The following hissed in response by: Steve
What I cannot answer is whether the motivation is core hatred of America as it currently exists... or depraved indifference to what, if we lost this war, America might become.I think there are two problems, one with the politicians, and one with the media.
For the latter, we have a group of ambitious political activists (who are overwhelmingly Democrats) masquerading as "reporters" and trying to become the next Bob Woodward (the Wapo's Dana Priest is one of the most conspicuous examples).
For the former, I wouldn't discount simple revenge and the seeking of power as a motive. In an op-ed Conyers wrote in the Washington Post article a year ago, he made it a point to show how the Republicans who took over Congress in 1995 were "revolutionaries", and that their sole intent was to undermine the Clinton administration. He threw in the leftist whine of "one-party" rule under Bush and the Republicans, while we all know that is exactly what Conyers (and Schumer, and Leahy) are working towards by doing the exact same things in the exact same manner:
...in the most autocratic, partisan and destructive ways imaginable.
Like the "reporters" who want to be Bob Woodward, these Democratic hacks want to take revenge for the Clinton impeachment, and attempt embarrass Republicans in order to reinstate the one-party disaster we had during the LBJ and Carter administrations, and the first two years of the Clinton administration. I sometimes think these people would sell the souls of their children to get that power, not just the selling out of this country. Yeah, it's a mean comment. But their actions since before the Iraq war began have shown the Democrats to be doing just what I assert.
The above hissed in response by: Steve at August 2, 2007 11:31 AM
The following hissed in response by: Brian H
Truthiness must prevail! Onward to the lies of our forefathers! You have nothing to lose but your brains! Great deals on two-humpers in our Camelot!
Had enough yet? Lots more where those came from! ;)
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