Friday, May 18, 2007

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

There are several things that are now beyond obvious in the ongoing U.S. Attorney scandal: Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is a serial liar, his job is not in jeopardy, the secret machinations of the Bush administration are profoundly more despotic than could be imagined, its disdain for the rule of law is profound, and neither the president nor his AG have a shred of decency or shame.

This to me is the moral of the arcane, made-for-TV tale of the race to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed in 2004.

And you know what? Nobody is going to be able to do a goddamned thing about it.

I just read somewhere that Fox has renewed "24" for another couple seasons, but it’s hard to imagine that the writers can compete with the Bush administration when it comes to the scripting of pulp melodrama.

The lurid intrigue starring Alberto Gonzales (who else) - in which the then-White House counsel is depicted racing to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed in 2004, in order to inveigle the seriously ill attorney general to sign off on a domestic eavesdropping program that had already been deemed illegal by Ashcroft’s chief deputy at Justice - is just the latest drip-drip disclosure of the Bush team’s aversion to the rule of law.

Kelly O'Donnell: Thank you, sir. There’s been some very dramatic testimony before the Senate this week from one of your former top Justice Department officials, who describes a scene that some senators called “stunning,” about a time when the wireless — when the warrantless wiretap program was being reviewed. Sir, did you send your then Chief of Staff and White House Counsel to the bedside of John Ashcroft while he was ill to get him to approve that program? And do you believe that kind of conduct from White House officials is appropriate?

President Bush: Kelly, there’s a lot of speculation about what happened and what didn’t happen; I’m not going to talk about it.


Back in those happy days in the 90s, if Clinton had refused to answer a question like this a shitstorm would've erupted. Ted Koppel would've put up a "17 days and still no answer" clock. Tweety would have had 37 blond conservative lawyers on every night to demand "accountability" etc . . . etc . . .


Surely they could have prepared a more artful dodge? Something that leaves him not looking so pathetically like a deer caught in the headlights. With his trousers around his ankles.


[T]he furious spin being given Robert B. Comey’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee by the usual suspects on the left, while leaving much to be desired with regards to the conclusions they reach about the way the NSA surveillance program was conducted and legally justified, nevertheless raises extremely troubling questions about the Bush Administration’s adherence to the law during the critical time frame of October, 2001 to March, 2004.


Why is it only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging? The chief reason is that the administration, in the person of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, stonewalled congressional inquiries and did its best to ensure that the shameful episode never came to light.

Cartoon by Jeff Danziger/New York Times Syndicate

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