Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alberto, define 'hypothetical'

Tom points us to this tidbit. See, During a Senate Judiciary hearing back in January 2005, Feingold asked Gonzales about:
where the president's authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.
We know that the warrantless surveillance was already taking place, and don't you think the Attorney General of the United States in waiting and at the time White House Counsel would have known about it at the time. Apparently not. Or so he claims.
Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.
Hmmm, hypothetical, but the President said: in December of 2005 that Gonzales authorized the action.
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.
As Tom said, the AG 'has some splainin' to do'


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