The Congress finally found John Ashcroft. The former Attorney General came out of semi-hiding and testified before the full House Judiciary Committee Thursday about his role in the detainee interrogations memos, pretty much another collective yawn for the media despite some moments of candor and verve.
Mr. Ashcroft unsurprisingly declined to call waterboarding torture but he did say he wished he'd paid more attention to terrorism before 9/11, something the left has repeatedly bashed him about. They were also atwitter over this, but at the same time couldn't have been thrilled with one of the witnesses brought in to help the Congressmen nail Ashcroft.
Former Solicitor General Dellinger (Clinton 93-96) testified that presidents have a duty to sometimes ignore laws if they believe them to be unconstitutional but if faced with a ticking bomb scenario they should order the action then resign immediately if laws were broken.
Republicans countered by asking him if FDR should have resigned when he ordered mustard gas carried in Navy ships during WWII (in case the Germans used theirs) to which he generally said no, but was forced to accede that FDR was protecting America from the Axis while Bush was protecting America from AQ. Whoops.
But the only thing approaching a sound bite came from our illustrious Rep Steve Cohen, who after tossing out some boilerplate about blaming Bush for 9/11 managed to get a response from the former AG about that infamous hospital drama (towards the end of the clip):
All in all, John Ashcroft handled the questions well and wasn't prone to much squirming, meaning we basically learned nothing. Just another day in DC for the accomplish-nothing Dems. Ironically, while they were dickering around about the meaning of torture some real torture was proven across the other side of the world. That's the same place another lawyer, Barack Obama, will soon be heading. Wonder if he'll mention it?