Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oh, irony

I've been meaning to mention this since Friday, when Krum first brought it to my attention, but life interfered.

Remember last summer when this blog was alive with arguments between true Americans like me, and treasonous liberty-haters like Naphtuli and CWY who thought the president was within his power to spy on Americans indiscriminately?

It's perfectly constitutional, shouted the treasonous liberty-haters. Time of war. And so on.

Well, as anyone not living in a cave now knows John Ashcroft, the president's own Attorney General (a person many of us previously considered a treasonous liberty-hater) strongly objected to the wiretapping program on the grounds that it was not constitutional. His Deputy Attorney Genera,l James Comey, also strongly objected to the program on the grounds that it was not constitutional. In other words, Napthuli, CWY and the rest of the presidents blind and unreflective supporters were wrong.

Our story continues:

When Ashcroft was hospitalized for pancreatitis, Comey was briefly made the acting AG. As it happened, this is when the program came up for re approval. Comey refused to endorse it, citing his own and Ashcroft's objections.

So what did our character-rich president do? How did he respond to principled objections from the two top men in his own Justice Department? Why, by seeking to subvert them, of course.

Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card were sent to Ashcroft's hospital room where they attempted to persuade the anesthesia-addled Aschcroft to sign the order. He refused. Reports Comey:
"I was angry, " Comey testified. "I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me." In the end, the White House simply renewed the wiretapping program without Justice Department approval.
Every American should be angry, too, and you know what? Only 30 percenters arne't.

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