ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time beats the drum on Gonzalez for the Democrats

Time Magazine beats the drums for the Democrats in their ongoing war against Attorney General Gonzalez:

When then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went to John Ashcroft's hospital room on the evening of March 10, 2004 to ask the ailing Attorney General to override Justice Department officials and reauthorize a secret domestic wiretapping program, he was acting inappropriately, Ashcroft's deputy at the time, James Comey, testified before Congress earlier this week. But the question some lawyers, national security experts and congressional investigators are now asking is: Was Gonzales in fact acting illegally?
Some? Let me guess they all have a D next to their name don't they?

Acting illegally how you might ask? After all, Gonzalez was a member of the DOJ, he was going to Ashcroft, who while incapacitated still head the official title of Attorney General of the United States.

Well it seems that ol' Al might have slipped the beans about this super secret spying program in a hospital room while Ashcroft's wife was there! And we all know she's secretly a member of Al Queda!

Comey described what happened next: "The door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there — to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was — which I will not do." Ashcroft bluntly rebuffed Gonzales, but Comey's unwillingness publicly to say what Gonzales said in the hospital room has raised questions about whether Gonzales may have violated executive branch rules regarding the handling of highly classified information, and possibly the law preventing intentional disclosure of national secrets.

Take him away! I have heard enough! Wait, before you go, can I ask one question, though? If this super duper double secret spying program was too sensitive and terrible to even utter.... um.... Why did the New York Times put it on its front page?

Oh I understand the rules now. Media prints national security secrets for the world to see, its Pulitzer Prize time. White House Counsel goes to the AG's bedside to have a chat and its off to the hoosegow with him!

Since this is Time, this is probably the part where they will want to question someone with national security experience. Hmm, who do you think they should get?

"Executive branch rules require sensitive classified information to be discussed in specialized facilities that are designed to guard against the possibility that officials are being targeted for surveillance outside of the workplace," says Georgetown Law Professor Neal Katyal, who was National Security Advisor to the Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. "The hospital room of a cabinet official is exactly the type of target ripe for surveillance by a foreign power," Katyal says. This particular information could have been highly sensitive. Says one government official familiar with the Terrorist Surveillance Program: "Since it's that program, it may involve cryptographic information," some of the most highly protected information in the intelligence community.

Mr Katyal, what about dead drops underneath construction trailer's such as the one Sandy Berger used? Would those be targets ripe for surveillance by a foreign power? He was the National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton. You might have run into him.

So did Gonzalez spill any beans in the hospital room? Time doesn't know:
To determine whether Gonzales broke the law or not, "You have to know the exact facts," says Elizabeth Parker, Dean of the University of the Pacific Law School and former General Counsel of the National Security Agency. "Obviously things can be discussed in ways that don't divulge highly classified information.
Why, thanks Elizabeth! You mean you have to know facts before you jump to conclusions? Tell that to Time.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian