Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sneers of a clown

Who isn't howling with laughter at Alberto Gonzales after his "testimony" on Capitol Hill today, where he openly admitted that there are other, secret spying programs we've never heard about? When asked about the apparent disagreement between Justice and the White House over the legality, or lack of, of the warrantless wiretapping program, Gonzales tells us that that was not the program at issue. It was other secret spying programs:
The disagreement that occurred was about other intelligence activities and the reason for the visit to the hospital was about other intelligence activities. It was not about the terrorist surveillance program that the president announced to the american people.
Oops.

Then, Gonzales said that he had "misspoke" when he testified in June that he was talking about the NSA wiretapping program, which he then said he "clarified" two days later. Even though he didn't. Someone else did. Perhaps. When asked what that clarification was, whoever the hell made it, Gonzales said he didn't know.

It's all very confusing. But it is a knee-slapper.
Gonzales said that he misspoke when he said at a press conference in June that he and former deputy attorney general James Comey were referring to the same warrantless wiretapping program.

“I clarified my statement two days later with the reporter,” Gonzales told Schumer.

“What did you say to the reporter?” Schumer asked.

“I did not speak directly to the reporter,” replied Gonzales.

“Ok,” Schumer continued, “what did your spokesperson say to the reporter?”

“I don’t know,” Gonzales said.
That didn't help. But the "I don't know" defense is brilliant!

Shumer proceeded to rip him:
In all due respect, you’re just saying, well, it was clarified with the reporter and you don’t even know what he said. You don’t even know what the clarification is. Sir, how you can say that you should stay on as Attorney General when we go through exercises like this where you’re bobbing and weaving and ducking to avoid admitting that you deceived the Committee?
By "rip," of course I mean verbally. Because nothing is still the likely outcome of these "exercises." After all, Gonzales would be in charge of enforcing his own prosecution for lying to Congress.

I wonder how much longer Congress is going to allow itself to be used like this? Gonzales sits in front of these people and lies through his contemptuous smirk, while everyone in the room knows he's doing it. Of course, the White House has pledged Gonzales to take the public albeit rhetorical beatings, to sit there and lie and look like a clown. And Gonzales seems more than willing. Anyone with a shred of self-respect would have long since resigned. But not Alberto, who is now sullying the image of all the honest, hard-working Hispanic immigrants who do all the other shitty but honest jobs in the country. Gonzales has assumed the role of King George's hapless court jester, "bobbing and weaving" before Congress, conjuring all manner of dumb shows and noise.

And who among us cannot help but wonder whether there's a Cayman Island bank account waiting at the end of this long day's journey into night?

2 Comments:

Blogger Mentarch said...

However much I have come to expect such mendacity from "these people", each time I keep asking myself: "have they no decency left whatsoever?"

And of course, they do not.

3:31 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

None. I'm not at all sure they've had any for a very long time. It was Gonzales, you'll remember, who was pushing through death sentences with cursory abandon, while Bush joked about it.

10:36 AM  

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