Patrick Leahy is at it again.
It appears the last time Gonales testified in front of Leahy and his Republican colleague Arlen Specter his answers weren't up to snuff, not by a long shot. Leahy writes: "By some counts, you failed to answer more than 100 questions, by other counts more than 70, and the most conservative count had you failing to provide answers well over 60 times. As a result, the Committee’s efforts to conduct oversight were hampered."
After that appearance Leahy and Specter asked Gonzales to suppliment his tesimony by answering some follow-up questions. "[In] your cursory response," Leahy writes, "you did not supplement any of your answers."
Now Leahy wants to know, among other things, "Pursuant to what legal authority " is Steven G. Bradbury, "Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General," issuing legal findings like the one that says Harriet Miers is “immune from compelled congressional testimony."
Leahy writes: "How is Mr. Bradbury’s issuance of this memorandum consistent with the Vacancies Act? At the end of the last Congress, Mr. Bradbury’s nomination to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel was returned to the President."
Whoopse! He must have been out of town when that happened; no one told him; he can't answer questions he doesn't recall the details of. . .
Also, Leahy wants to know:
"Has the Justice Department conducted audits or studies demonstrating that its data mining programs, such as the Star Program are effective tools for identifying potential terrorists?"
"In 2003, Congress unanimously passed the Hometown Heroes law to extend federal survivor benefits to the families of firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers who die of heart attack or stroke in the line of duty . . . More than three and a half years after Hometown Heroes became law, the Justice Department has approved only six claims and denied 48 claims out of nearly 260 applications. . . Why has the Justice Department taken so long to decide Hometown Heroes claims? Why is there only a three percent acceptance rate for Hometown Heroes claims?"
"Given the Administration’s resistance to congressional oversight, its misleading and self-serving statements, its having denied security clearances to Office of Professional Responsibility investigators reviewing actions taken in connection with the President’s warrantless electronic surveillance program, and the ineffectiveness of other internal review mechanism, such as the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and the Intelligence Oversight Board, why should Congress or the American people have any confidence in your recent announcement implementing 'a significant new national security oversight and compliance effort'?"
That's a good question. More specifically, I'd ask why the American people should have any cconfidence in this Attorney General in anything he says or does. Here's a guy who was out of sight for most of the month of April supossedly cramming for his big appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and when he actually got there, he couldn't remember anything.
What makes anyonwe think this next appearance on the 24th will be any different?