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July 28, 2007

Dems Want Special Prosecutor, Perjury Inquiry For AG Gonzales

This looks not so good. The "lies" in question -- claiming there was no disagreement about the terrorist surveillance program in the Administration, also claiming that program was not the subject of a hospital-room lobbying session with hospitalized then-AG John Ashcroft -- seems absurdly easy to discover; certainly no efforts seem to have been taken to get other officials to make this claim-- they're flatly contradicting him.

So I'm not getting his motive to lie, as it seems to accomplish nothing at all. It's not as if the Democrats got Deputy AG Comey and FBI Director Mueller to contradict him only by tough questioning -- they just seemed to give up the nookie right away.

On the other hand, what he's saying does not appear true at all.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took another blow yesterday. In an appearance before a House committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller appeared to contradict sworn testimony by Gonzales leading Democrats to call for a special counsel to probe possible "perjury" charges. As ABC World News noted, Gonzales had testified this week that "there were no serious disagreements within the Bush administration about the warrantless domestic surveillance program. ... Mueller, today, disputed that." Rep. Melvin Watt: "You had some serious reservations about the warrantless wire tapping program?" Mueller: "Yes." ABC continued, "Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey also disputed Gonzales" in his earlier Senate testimony, saying that when he "refused to sign off on the program...Gonzales, then the White House counsel, went to the intensive care unit to try to get Ashcroft to overrule Comey. ... Mueller backed that story today." Mueller: "I don't disagree with what Mr. Comey says."

Media reports are portraying Mueller's words as a devastating blow to Gonzales. CNN's Situation Room, for example, called them "a late, dramatic piece of evidence against the Attorney General." ... On ABC World News, George Stephanopoulos noted the White House says "the Attorney General, they believe, has not lied in this. ... But I have to say, Charlie, I spoke with an FBI official who said the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, was simply trying to give direct answers to direct questions, and the Attorney General often parses. So, this has created an uncomfortable situation for the White House."

The AP reports that Mueller "contradicted" Gonzales. Under the headline "FBI Chief Disputes Gonzales On Spying," the Washington Post reports in a front-page story that Mueller "contradicted the sworn testimony of his boss," and adds, "Mueller's testimony appears to mark the first public confirmation from a Bush administration official that the National Security Agency's Terrorist Surveillance Program was at issue" in Gonzales' "unusual nighttime visit" to Ashcroft's hospital room. Under the headline "F.B.I. Chief Gives Account at Odds With Gonzales's," the New York Times reports in a front-page story that Mueller's testimony "sharply conflicted" with Gonzales'

The White House spin here seems to be that there were disagreements about some parts of the TSP but not others, and Gonzales was saying there were no disagreements about the parts there were no disagreements about.

This doesn't seem to be a very good defense.

Well If You Say It Like That... The unfortunately-named Apologist explains the defense a lot better that I've heard it:

I've only followed this loosely Ace, but best I can tell here's the deal.

TSP at that time was something else, something larger that included data-mining and some other stuff. Some people objected. He went to Ashcroft, Ashcroft sided with Comey et.al, they modified the program into what it currently is today.

So in AG's appearance Schumer & Co. are trying to make it sound like TSP was what Ashcroft objected to, AG says it's not, Comey and Mueller say it is because they aren't allowed to coordinate testimony with AG and they don't intuit the distinction he's making. Now, Schumer, Leahy, and Specter are trying to lynch AG, and here's the kicker, EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANS. This is why Bush won't let anyone else go down to the Hill and testify on record. The Dems are actually running Stalinist showtrials and Specter hates AG so much he's letting them do it. AG is in precisely zero legal trouble which is why Tony Snow and AG and Bush aren't sweating this at all.

What Bush should do is declassify the info and do a Press Conference and expose these fuck-nuts for the lying sacks of shit they are. But he won't cause hes' just a big fuckin' softy when it comes to this stuff. If it looks like AG is in any real danger of prosecution (by a special prosecuter Bush will never appoint) he'll declassify and remove the danger I'm sure.

Hm. Maybe. We'll see.


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posted by Ace at 02:18 PM

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