Friday, July 13, 2007

A Gonzales update.

The WaPo reported on Wednesday:

"Two senior Justice Department officials said yesterday that they kept Attorney Alberto R. Gonzales apprised of FBI violations of civil liberties and privacy safeguards in recent years."

According to the story by John Soloman, James A. Baker, a career official who heads the Justice Department's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, discussed the "problems or violations or compliance incidents, however you want to refer to them" with the "Attorneys General." (I guess, he's trying to say Ashcroft knew about this stuff, too.)

Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth L. Wainstein says he, too, "discussed a number of times oversight concerns and, underlying those oversight concerns, the potential for violations," with Gonzales.

But he says Gonzales wasn't lying when told sentators in 2005 that there hadn't been one "verified case of civil liberties abuse," since 2001.

According to the WaPo, "Wainstein cited what he described as a dictionary definition of 'abuse' in defending Gonzales's remark." [What is the the meaning of "is.?"]

Gosh, for something that is so totally on the up and up, there sure is a lot of legalistic double speak and Slick Willyese flying around.

Of course, we're not any further along in really finding out what Gonzales knew and when he knew it or if he cared to know it. It's so funny how no one over at Justice can ever to recall anything happening at any time. I think perhaps they ought to get EPA over there to check for lead in the water. [Naturally, the lead paint manufacturers might get a little huffy about that. Better see what the EPA's commisar for lead paint says first.]

In any case, even if Gonzales was told about all these "problems or violations or compliance incidents, however you want to refer to them" concerning FBI overeach with the Patriot Act, it's not beyond the realm of possibility to believe Alberto just didn't listen.

In another WaPo article concerning who said what to who about Valerie Plame, Michael Abramowitz writes that when Dick Armitage told State Department officials that he might have leaked Plame's name to Robert Novak:

"One of them called then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to report that the State Department possessed information relevant to the leak investigation and had already contacted the Justice Department. The aide, former State Department lawyer Will Taft, asked Gonzales if he wanted to know the details. Gonzales said no, according to 'Hubris' a book on the case by journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn."

See, why would he want to know about that? It's not like W., his boss, was concerned about leaks or anything when he was White House counsel . . .

"Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks."

Oh, did El Jeffe say that? No one told me . . . Uh, I don't recall. . . "I can only provide information as to what I know and to what I recall."

If someone told Alberto something and he didn't care about that something, does that qualify as him not having heard it?

'Can I testify to only what I care about?'


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