Thursday, January 18, 2007

As cowardly as they were dishonest

Glenn Greenwald reports on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where he witnesses "inanities ... [which] exceed those which one finds anywhere else on the planet outside of the right-wing blogosphere". Today was A-G Alberto Gonzales' day and what a slimey character he was. When questioned by Russ Feingold about how BushCo accused "opponents of the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" -- meaning those who insisted that eavesdropping take place within the law, within the FISA framework -- of "opposing eavesdropping on terrorists", A.G. the A-Ge wimped out with an outright lie.
Feingold: Do you know anyone in government who ever took that position?

Gonzales: No, but that is not what I said.

Feingold: It is a disgrace and disservice to your office and the President to have accused people on this Committee of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I didn't have you in mind or anyone on the Committee when I referred to people who oppose eavesdropping on terrorists. Perish the thought.

Feingold: Oh, well it's nice that you didn't have us "in your mind" when making those accusations, but given that you and the President were running around the country accusing people of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists in the middle of an election, the fact that you didn't have Congressional Democrats in "mind" isn't significant. Your intent was to make people think that anyone who opposed the "TSP" did not want to eavesdrop on terrorists, even though that was false. No Democrats oppose eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I wasn't referring to Democrats.


The claim that people who opposed warrantless eavesdropping were "opposed to eavesdropping on terrorists" was always an outright lie - one of the very, very few times I have ever applied that term when analyzing or arguing political debates. To say that Democrats (and other critics of the "TSP") opposed eavesdropping on terrorists is not spin. It is just a lie. Democrats favored eavesdropping on terrorists, which is what FISA permits. And the administration knew that. Yet they continuously said otherwise.

And now that Gonzales has to face the people whom he and his Leader falsely accused, he cowardly claims that he never meant them at all, but instead was only referring to some random unnamed blogger who supposedly opposes all eavesdropping, even on The Terrorists. Pretending that the accusation wasn't directed at Democrats when he has to answer them face-to-face is as cowardly as the original accusations were dishonest.


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