It's Bigger Than He Admitted

My local rag, the Washington Post, has something today that I could have predicted months ago...

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales appeared to suggest yesterday that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance operations may extend beyond the outlines that the president acknowledged in mid-December.
This is standard practice for kids admitting to their parents that they screwed up. Break it to them easy - admit to a small part of your offense. Fill in the details later after the anger has subsided. Bush would probably know this strategy pretty well.
In a letter yesterday to senators in which he asked to clarify his Feb. 6 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales also seemed to imply that the administration's original legal justification for the program was not as clear-cut as he indicated three weeks ago.

At that appearance, Gonzales confined his comments to the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, saying that President Bush had authorized it "and that is all that he has authorized."

But in yesterday's letter, Gonzales, citing that quote, wrote: "I did not and could not address . . . any other classified intelligence activities." Using the administration's term for the recently disclosed operation, he continued, "I was confining my remarks to the Terrorist Surveillance Program as described by the President, the legality of which was the subject" of the Feb. 6 hearing.
Oh, so by 'clarifying' you mean you want to change your testimony so you don't get caught having essentially lied to Congress if the rest of this shit comes out? I thought so.
n his letter, Gonzales revisited earlier testimony, during which he said the administration immediately viewed a congressional vote in September 2001 to authorize the use of military force against al-Qaeda as justification for the NSA surveillance program. Bush secretly began the program in October 2001, Gonzales's letter said.

On Feb. 6, Gonzales testified that the Justice Department considered the use-of-force vote as a legal green light for the wiretapping "before the program actually commenced."

But in yesterday's letter, he wrote, "these statements may give the misimpression that the Department's legal analysis has been static over time."

Fein said the letter seems to suggest that the Justice Department actually embraced the use-of-force argument some time later, prompting Gonzales to write that the legal justification "has evolved over time."
Evolution is a great thing when it involves warantless domestic spying, but shouldn't be taught in our classrooms. Gotcha.

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