Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gonzales Ducks Question On Whether Warrantless Spying Pre-Dated Congressional Authorization Of "Necessary" Force

Did Alberto Gonzales, then the White House counsel, approve the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program after Congress authorized the administration to use "all necessary and appropriate force" to stop Al Qaeda?

That would be the expected order of events -- you get authorization, and then you act -- but the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday wanted Gonzales, now the Attorney General, to confirm as much on the record.

Unfortunately, Gonzales wasn't interested in answering it when he spoke -- amazingly, not under oath -- to the committee.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): Attorney general, I understand. I was here when that attack happened, and I join with Republicans and Democrats and virtually every member of this Congress to try to give you the tools that you said you needed for us to go after Al-Qaeda, and especially to go after Osama bin Laden, the man that we all understood masterminded the attack, the man who is still at large. Now, back to my question, did you come to the conclusion that you had to have this warrantless wiretapping of Americans inside the United States to protect us before the president signed the resolution on September 18, 2001? You were the White House counsel at the time.

GONZALES: What I can say is that we came to a conclusion that the president had the authority to authorize this kind of activity before he actually authorized the activity.


Blogger Brad said...


Do I sense yet another conservative talking point falling apart?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous sparosnare said...

The spying started before 9/11 and it was formerly known as TIA or Total Information Awareness, a Pentagon undertaking that was to keep track of vast quantities of information on just about everyone - started by John Poindexter. When the program was stopped in 2003, it simply went underground to the NSA.

Sneaky little bastard.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous savemefromdumbya said...

and we wouldn't have known any of this was happening?

that is the ordinary citizens being spied on

3:20 PM  
Anonymous sparosnare said...

We knew about TIA -
Poindexter resigned over the civil liberties flap it created. Since the public didn't accept the program, they simply shifted all the resources, etc. to the NSA to continue in secret.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous savemefromdumbya said...

I guess people not aquainted with politics wouldn't have a clue

3:22 PM  
Anonymous mikeanike said...

what BS

they'll ue the patented "national security" excuse if they get pressed to hard over that issue.

3:23 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Gonzales also acknowledged in the hearing that the Bush Administration had to answer to no one on whether it enforces its' claimed self-imposed regular updates on the program with Congress.
This acknowledgement should also evaporate a main Bush/conservative talking point that citizens were protected from the spying due to a checks and balance.
But we all know that conservatives will continue to repeat the lies anyway.
Also, why should any American citizen called into court ever again be required to take an oath WHEN THE VERY U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL IS NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO?
Why isn't the media interested in such questions?

3:31 PM  
Anonymous windspike said...

Instead of doing his job of protecting the American people instead of his president, the AG Gonzo is certainly acting like he is protecting his best interests. Might he not have had a hand in this wretched ploy to stomp all over the fourth amendment? Methinks maybe. He certainly obfuscates with the best of the W, Rove and Co, no?

11:53 AM  
Anonymous The Bastard said...

I can’t repeat this enough, isn’t the Attorney Generals job to protect the rights of the American public?

Did you say yes?

Then why the fuck is he doing everything to protect the president? He shouldn’t be on capital hill defending the president he should be in a news room announcing a full scale investigation into the matter.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Gun-Toting Liberal said...

“… before he actually authorized the activity…”

Hmm. That little snippet speaks VOLUMES, doesn’t it. Or is it just me being negative?

11:55 AM  
Anonymous ozymandiaz said...

Didn’t Gonzales say something about President Washington authorizing wire taps? Washington, as ihn the first president. There must have been a bevy of electronic communications going on then…

11:32 PM  

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