Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unbelievable Testimony from Deputy AG Comey

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey provided stunning testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today -- so stunning that it places former Attorney General Ashcroft in a good light. Transcript here (scroll down to page 9). The facts are straight out of the Godfather, and involve Comey rushing to John Ashcroft's hospital room, sirens blaring, to stop the White House from interfering with his decisions on the infamous warrantless wiretapping program ("Terrorist Surveillance Program"), a confrontation that spurred Comey to insist on having witnesses before talking about the matter further with the White House.

To my ears, Comey confirmed that President Bush was informed that his warrantless wiretapping program was illegal, the Justice Department refused to reauthorize it, Bush sent Alberto Gonzalez and Andy Card to go over acting Attorney General Comey's head and pressure the incapacitated and hospitalized John Ashcroft to overrule him, and when that failed, Bush chose to continue the illegal program anyway. Comey notes that after a massive wave of resignations was threatened, which would have included Comey, Ashcroft and FBI Director Mueller, among others, Bush eventually chose to have Comey conform the program to the law. Of course, we have no way of knowing whether the program actually conforms to the law, or whether the current Attorney General Gonzalez has since that time rescinded the objections of Comey and Ashcroft and reinstated the parts of the program they deemed illegal.

Read the testimony here.


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