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July 10, 2007

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But you see, Gonzales speaketh the truth when he said "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse." I mean, has this been ultimately decided by a court of law, with issues joined by both parties and all arguments on both sides fully vetted in an adversary proceeding? I don't think so, and until it is, I just can't believe that there has been a case of civil liberties abuse - especially since I haven't seen the opposition's brief yet.

In fact, I can't determine what happened in my day without having a court of law decide such things as which route I took to work, whether I had a fifth cup of coffee, and if I had a salad or giant greasy hamburger for lunch. Things get especially testy when my wife files her brief with compelling arguments that I had a burger and why that's bad for me, and I have to claim the state secrets privilege to keep the saladian veneer over my actions.

hilzoy, hilzoy, hilzoy.

Oversight doesn't mean squat without a sincere and concrete effort to enforce the oversight.

Sure, there are hearings, which is itself a positive. Sure, some of the things are coming to light, which is itself a good thing.

However, if there are no consequences, it means nothing in terms of having an actual impact. And with this administration, it means nothing. The administration is unwilling to cave in and the Congress is unwilling to unleash its power.

More and more I have come to agree with something I heard earlier this year that all the fiasco laden investigations, up to and including the impeachment process, of the 90's was to make it more difficult for the Democrats, if they regained power, to do anything against a Republican executive branch, as it would just be labeled as political revenge.

Unfortunately, the Dems (or at least enough of them) have bought into this and have avoided the really difficult actions.

Additionally, there really is little media coverage of all this.

My memory is not what it once was, but it seems to me there was more attention paid to Travelgate then there is to this issue that you posted about, or many of the other instances of abuse by this administration.

There are now not one, not two, but several separate documented occasions of the Attorney General lying to Congress.

Impeach him and move on to the next criminal.

OT - uh oh:

The U.S. navy has sent a third aircraft carrier to its Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes Gulf waters close to Iran, the navy said on Tuesday.

I mean, has this been ultimately decided by a court of law, with issues joined by both parties and all arguments on both sides fully vetted in an adversary proceeding?

I have to agree with you, Ugh. It would be premature to draw conclusions before all of the evidence is in. And of course, all of the evidence isn't in until I'm satisfied that all of the evidence is in, so it may be a while.

I've always wondered why Congress puts up with the "I don't recall" game. I understand it might be true for small details which need refreshing, but for the big things it either can't be true, or the person isn't fit for office.

There are two phrases that epitomize this administration:

"I don't recall" and "No one could have predicted".

What Ugh said. The ... idiots who questioned Gonzales should've either had a prep course in cross-examination, or yielded their time to lawyers.

You don't get ANYTHING without following up. "What do you mean by 'verified'? What unverified reports have been received? From whom?" Etc., etc.

It's difficult to look dumber than AG AG, but the Congress has given it a good shot.

Since the Democrats took power and congressional hearings stopped being mere formalities...

And became mere posturing and posing for partisan political purposes.

Bill H, aren't there other places on the internet where you can look foolish to your heart's content?

Are you under the impression that Democrats have some monopoly on "posturing and posing"?

If not, then your observation's superfluous; if so, then it's ignorant. Either way, why bother? Please explain.

If Freud were alive, I think he would generally characterize members of the Bush administration as lacking fully developed Superegos.

I find it suprising that people this high up in government don't operate under the assumption that they are supposed to operate, in the best way they know how, in accordance with the law. I would also think they would be self-policing and not require outside compulsion to be honest and forthright about their actions, let alone defy such compulsion. It is like dealing with children. (Another way to look at it is that AG, among others, is extrememly, extremely unprofessional.)

To have so much disregard for longstanding American institutions makes it very hard for someone to even claim some misguided form of patriotism. It's only the degree to which America allows them to accumulate power, and with no accountability for the means with which they accumulate it, that they "love" America. Or so it seems to me.

Re Ugh's OT-but-welcome pointer to expansion of Iran-range carriers:

Cue the usual commenters pooh-poohing the buildup.

The Stennis has been deployed for a full six months now. With the annual family-at-the-cottage get-together coming up soon, it'd be nice to hear from my s.o.'s nephew that the carrier will be steaming back to San Diego on a date certain and soon...

'Fredo should remember, or learn, that the statute of limitations on perjury, lying to Congress and obstruction of justice won't expire for years. In eighteen months, there will be a new Attorney General and new US Attorneys, who will be able to have him legitimately investigated and prosecuted. Along with his buddies.

His defense counsel, with no hint of the irony involved, will inevitably claim that his prosecution is a political witch hunt. But to see one of those for real, she would have to look at the cases prosecuted by his own Justice Dept, such as those of Don Siegelman and Georgia Thompson.

'Fredo should remember, or learn, that the statute of limitations on perjury, lying to Congress and obstruction of justice won't expire for years. In eighteen months, there will be a new Attorney General and new US Attorneys, who will be able to have him legitimately investigated and prosecuted. Along with his buddies.

His defense counsel, with no hint of the irony involved, will inevitably claim that his prosecution is a political witch hunt. But to see one of those for real, she would have to look at the cases prosecuted by his own Justice Dept, such as those of Don Siegelman and Georgia Thompson.

OutSourced: Fredo should remember, or learn, that the statute of limitations on perjury, lying to Congress and obstruction of justice won't expire for years. In eighteen months, there will be a new Attorney General and new US Attorneys, who will be able to have him legitimately investigated and prosecuted. Along with his buddies.

The whole criminal crew is apparently counting on the new Attorney General and new US Attorneys being appointed by someone like Thompson, whom they can trust. Certainly they're not behaving like people who ever expect to be called to account, and if they can get their next President safely into office with similiar methods to those used to get Bush into office, they don't need to worry about anything for the next eight years.

Jes - they're more likely counting on the president's magic pardon pen.

they're more likely counting on the president's magic pardon pen.

....you know, I'd forgotten that in the US, the President has the power to issue a general unspecified pardon, as Ford to Nixon: "whatever they say you did, you're not guilty of it!"

Sounds like yet another awesomely good reason to impeach Bush.

This is utterly preposterous. The reports in question detailed minor technical problems with the oversight of the NSL program and recommended methods for correcting these problems. If anything they showed an overabundance of concern about privacy issues. Typical leftist Bush/Gonzales Distortion Syndrome.

Surely Bush has already pardoned the People Who Matter, in secret, for all past and future crimes? Where in the Constitution does it say he has to let you know about this? And if he hasn't - for goodness' sake, impeach before he can reach his pen!

This is utterly preposterous. The reports in question detailed minor technical problems with the oversight of the NSL program and recommended methods for correcting these problems. If anything they showed an overabundance of concern about privacy issues. Typical leftist Bush/Gonzales Distortion Syndrome.

Yeah, we're not rounding up people and putting them in camps like we did in WWII....

Feh. This stuff isn't minor....

Speaking of Bush's magic pardon pen...

Mark Morford:

""People! My people! Come to me, you shockingly large numbers of corrupt and disgraced Republican senators, representatives, aides, deputies, secretaries, lobbyists, governors and mayors and secretly gay meth-snorting right-wing Christian evangelists, and I shall remove from you the burden of legal, ethical, spiritual and yes even genital responsibility for all crimes you have almost certainly committed under the dark umbrella that is me! I am the walrus!

"DeLay! Gonzales! Abramoff! Rumsfeld! Frist and Scalia and Ashcroft and Rove! Hastert and Duke Cunningham and Dusty Foggo! Ralph Reed! Mark Foley, Ted Haggard and Jeff Gannon! Abu Ghraib instigators! Guantanamo endorsers! WMD believers! FEMA! Plamegate! Terry Schaivo hypocrites! Torturers and influence peddlers and domestic wiretappers, Halliburton bribers and no-bid contractors and dark Carlyle Group overlords!

"Also: Sex education misinformers, global warming deniers, scientist muzzlers, Energy Task Force liars, Iraq Study Group deniers, 9/11 Report ignorers, Medicare scammers, Diebold voting machine swindlers! Bogus Jessica Lynch and Saddam statue and fake Thanksgiving turkey event stagers! And all the rest I can't remember because wow there are just so damn many! Come to me and be not someone's prison bitch despite how you really, really deserve it! I hereby pardon you aaaaaalllll!"

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