If the dispute chiefly involved data mining, rather than eavesdropping, Mr. Gonzales’ defenders may maintain that his narrowly crafted answers, while legalistic, were technically correct.Mr. Feingold certainly seems disappointed and no, we haven't heard the last of this. But it's funny, guys like him and Mr. Schumer and Mr. Reid and Mr. Leahy would be the first to lambaste Bush for not doing more to protect America if Mr. bin Laden succeeds in attacking us again by avoiding the countermeasures we've put in place.
Gonzo pleaded with the Senators to take the session behind closed doors to better explain things but doing so takes the dog and pony show out of the public eye, which is apparently all the Democrats care about. No doubt part of that equation is appeasing the mighty nutroots and their passion for impeachment. They need to just do it.
Instead we now we have the Times heralding another classified aspect of the program for all the world to take notes about. Frankly, it didn't take a rocket scientist to guess that Gonzo's parsed remark might have something to do with data-mining the internets, since we've all heard stories about how the bad guys like to embed messages in JPEG files, etc, but such things were not going to be opined about here. Thanks to the Times and the Democrats, no worries.
ONE COULD ARGUE 7/29/07
Those who believe the GWoT is really nothing more than a vast CFR/Trilateral Commission conspiracy designed to create a one-world government and remove our liberties might suggest that Bush and Congress have allowed this dog and pony show to proceed in order to gain public backing for the proposed reforms of the FISA laws, which anonymous administration sources now say are woefully outdated.
One would, of course, also have to believe that all the previous terror attacks, or at least 9/11, were inside jobs pulled off by the internationalists to make the case.
Since rational people reject such thinking our current situation seems to break down as follows--we really are falling behind in intercepting cues about future attacks due to rapidly advancing technologies, a slow bureaucracy and a sticky civil liberties issue; the terrorists are aware and working OT to exploit it; the Democrats are loathe to act because they believe the greatest threat resides in DC. Not a very good scenario.
It appears the Democrats could well be snookered. If they proceed to appoint a Special Counsel that person could not divulge the details of the program Gonzo was referring to without leaking national security information in violation of the law. That doesn't make for a very compelling public case. If they try using impeachment Congress would have to hold the sessions behind closed doors for the very same reasons, leaving a doubt as to whether the public would trust such a process without being told the facts, which could not occur. Hmm.
While George Tenet's book might seem off topic it might also provide needed context here. We know Comey and Ashcroft were less than enthused about Cheney's tactics. We also know that Powell and Armitage were at odds with Cheney. On page 375 Tenet says:
--but Powell and his deputy, Rich Armitage, were two of my closest colleagues in the administration.He has nothing good to say about Scooter Libby either, more evidence of the internal war and perhaps even a casus belli for the Plame game. New guy James Comey appeared to be solidly on Tenet's side of the divide in early 2004 when this whole ball of strings exploded.