The Whitewash Begins - At Least Specter Stops Abu Gonzales In His Tracks
Abu Gonzales has opened his testimony this morning in the exact manner we heard about yesterday: he is blaming the media for getting the story wrong, thereby making fools out of his bosses, who have already copped to the original story carried in the NYT in December. And of course, this allows Gonzales, who has already lied under oath to Congress on this issue at his confirmation hearing, to blame the media and Bush’s critics for being treasonous snakes because they questioned the illegality in the first place. It’s another Bush misdirection ploy that will be supported by the bedwetting GOP senators on the committee and the sycophants in the media and blogosphere, who wouldn’t for a moment have looked the other way had a Democrat been in office doing this, and would have demanded a full disclosure of documents from the Democratic administration unlike the stonewalling the GOP allows Bush to get away with. At least Arlen Specter pushed him a little, asking why the administration hasn’t taken the issue to the FISA court if they are so certain that they are correctly acting within the law. Abu had no good answer for that one, but then got bailed out by Orrin Hatch, who supports damn near anything a Republican wants to do to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
And a memo to General Hayden, who was given two chances yesterday to flatly deny that the NSA was snooping on folks aside from suspected “terrorists”: if you want people to have confidence that the Bush Administration isn’t replaying the Nixon Administration’s dirty tricks and shredding of the constitution for political gain, you better come up with something better than a nondenial, and an all-too-transparent “the NSA is too busy for such activity” bullshit answer. First off, if you aren’t doing it, then deny it on the record. Secondly, saying the NSA isn’t doing it is just another BushCo dodge, wherein 1) everyone knows there is no way to confirm what the NSA is or is not doing; 2) this administration has already used the Army and the FBI to spy on political opponents; and 3) even if the NSA is too busy for such political hi-jinks, that doesn’t mean Rummy’s OSP, DIA, Goss’s CIA, John Bolton, or even the clueless Mueller’s FBI aren’t taking the NSA intercepts and using them for something other than terrorist tracking.
Bush is spying on his political opponents, but I bet the committee Democrats let it pass this week.
Update: Well, blow me down as Scotty McClellan would say to Jeff Gannon: according to georgia10 over at Dkos, the Democrats came to the party today prepared, and we can thank Glenn Greenwald for that. After Specter walked into a PR trap by refusing to swear in Abu Gonzales and then refused to introduce evidence of Bush and Gonzales’s previous statements on the matter, it looks like Abu can only stand up when Mussolini Hatch can prop him up. It seems that even Pat Leahy is showing signs of life today.
Hat tip to ThinkProgress and Matt Stoller over at MyDD.com