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It wasn't in front of the Judiciary Committee, but it might be a portent of things to come, given Leahy's interest in talking to Mukasey. Yesterday he appeared at a budget hearing in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, on which Leahy and Feinstein sit. They each had more than budgets in mind.

Leahy asked Mukasey about his false assertion in a recent speech that the U.S. had received intelligence about calls from a "safe house in Afghanistan" just prior to 9/11, but weren't able to act upon it because of FISA laws:

On his third question, Leahy asked Mukasey to clarify a recent comment he made in San Francisco where he implied that the failure to listen in on a phone call from Afghanistan to the United States prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks had cost 3,000 lives.

"Nobody else seems to know about this. Can you tell me what the circumstances were and why?" Leahy said.

"The phone call I referenced relates to an incoming call that is referred to in a letter in February of this year to House Intelligence Committee Chairman [Silvestre] Reyes [(D-Texas)] from Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and I," Mukasey said.

"One thing I got wrong. It didn’t come from Afghanistan. I got the country wrong," Mukasey continued without specifying the country where the call originated.

Mukasey, who used the phone call as an example to highlight the intelligence shortcomings before 9/11, did not explain why he included the comment to argue for expanded surveillance powers in a question-and-answer session after his speech on March 27.

"No FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application should have been necessary to monitor a foreign target in a foreign country," Leahy reminded Mukasey. "We didn’t need it then. And we didn’t need it today."

So what was Mukasey talking about and how did it have anything to do with FISA? We still don't know. In the letter he references, there is this:

We have provided Congress with examples in which difficulties with collections under the Executive Order resulted in the Intelligence Community missing crucial information. For instance, one of the September 11th hijackers communicated with a known overseas terrorist facility while he was living in the United States. Because that collection was conducted under Executive Order 12333, the Intelligence Community could not identify the domestic end of the communication prior to September 11, 2001, when it could have stopped that attack. The failure to collect such communications was one of the central criticisms of the Congressional Joint Inquiry that looked into intelligence failures associated with the attacks of September 11.

This explanation has come up before, when the DoJ responded to Glenn Greenwald's inquiry, and it failed under the scrutiny of both Glenn and emptywheel. What that Joint Inquiry concluded was that, while there may have been problems with intelligence agency coordination, the problem was not that FISA--or any other law--prevented intelligence activities, but that NSA chose not to follow up on this lead. So Mukasey continues to evade the real points--what has this to do with FISA, and why didn't the 9/11 Commission have this information.

Feinstein had little more luck trying to pry an answer out of him as to whether the yet-to-be released Yoo memo on the Fourth Amendment has been withdrawn:

..."I can't speak to the October, 2001 memo," Mukasey said when she asked whether it had been withdrawn. He said that Yoo's later March, 2003 memo -- which broadly authorized the use of torture by military interrogators on unlawful combatants -- had been withdrawn, but refused to discuss that October, 2001 memo....

[Extended back and forth in which Mukasey refused to directly answer the question]

...Finally, Mukasey responded, "The Fourth Amendment applies across the board whether we're in wartime or peacetime. It applies across the board."

When Feinstein pronounced herself satisfied, Mukasey said, "with due respect, I don't think there's anything really new about that answer." He went on to imply that Yoo's discussion of the applicability of the Fourth Amendment had not been a crucial aspect of that memo. "The discussion of which that was a part... means the inaptness... the suggested inapplicability of the Fourth Amendment as an alternative basis for finding that searches discussed there would be reasonable."

"But Mr. Yoo's contention was that the Fourth Amendment did not apply and that the President was free to order domestic military operations," Feinstein replied.

"Without regard to the Fourth Amendment?"


"My understanding is that is not operative."

Because that memo has not been declassified, we don't know what was the "crucial aspect of that memo." Nor is it at all clear that the memo, like the infamous torture memo, has been withdrawn. Or whether this memo provided the legal rationale for warrantless wiretapping. What is clear is that, while he might be more adept at avoiding answering questions to Senators than his predecessor, he's no more inclined to tell the truth. But that's no reason to not haul his ass up to the Hill on at least a weekly basis to try.

There's no time like the present. Senator Leahy should schedule a hearing for Mr. Mukasey before the Judiciary Committee dedicated to just these questions.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The lies formthis administration just keep on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libbie, Terminus, MI Sooner, Gwen12


    Many people did not care for Pat Buchanan's speech; it probably sounded better in the original German."

    by Flippant on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

  •  What disturbs me about this exchange (20+ / 0-)

    "There are no domestic military operations being carried out today," Mukasey replied.

    "I'm asking you a question. That's not the answer."

    "I'm unaware of any domestic military operations being carried out today," he repeated.

    is the implication that they might have been carried out yesterday and may well be carried out tomorrow.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:51:32 AM PDT

  •  I can easily guess... (4+ / 0-)

    ...the crucial aspect of the memo:

    It's a bil ol' dose of CYAlis

    I want my Two Dollars!

    by Ken in MN on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:51:49 AM PDT

  •  This Administration Lies (8+ / 0-)

    All the time.  ie: Bush "we don't torture."

  •  It's not like Mukasey is doing anything important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, ezdidit

    Aside from protecting the telecom industry, he seems to be twiddling his thumbs.

    "Universal suffrage should rest upon universal education." - Rutherford B. Hayes

    by rdxtion on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:53:01 AM PDT

  •  Oh...I so hate these corrupt fucks in this (4+ / 0-)

    administration and the GOP in general.

  •  Rights of the people (5+ / 0-)

    Who cares?  Certainly not these people.  Certainly not the congress.  We just keep going into deeper waters and nothing is done.  I'm disgusted with this entire admin and the entire congress.

    Not only did we beat the British now we have to beat the Bushes.

    by libbie on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

  •  Glad to see Leahy taking the ball (8+ / 0-)

    I think he has finally woken up to the seriousness of the abuses under The Clown, and would like a legacy of opposition to the coup d' etat these monsters have perpetrated.

    I must say I like the way the wind is blowing on many fronts - several of the powderkegs that have smouldered in the dark of the progresssive blogosphere are starting to spark, and the smell of sulphur is beginning to permeate upwards to the MSM club lounge.

    Fan the flames.
    It's our duty.

    Apparently only elections of Republicans have consequences. My bad.

    by kamarvt on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:54:00 AM PDT

  •  Domestic Military Activities? (8+ / 0-)

    Another made up "term of art" by John Yoo.  The first thing Senator Leahy should do is make the AG specuificly define this term.

  •  I just had to discipline two 3rd grade girls.. (5+ / 0-)

    Their " That's not what I said, not what I  meant, I never did that, I dont remember" excuses to me sound remarkably like Mukasey!! They actually did it a bit better..

    Politics is like driving...if you want to go backwards, choose R. If you want to move forward, choose D.

    by fireflynw on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:01:28 AM PDT

  •  Fool on the hill?? (0+ / 0-)

    ...........and not the good kind, either.

    A fool for falling for Bush's trashing of our constitution.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room! - President Merkin Muffley

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:02:33 AM PDT

  •  Feinstein approved his nomination (10+ / 0-)

    Besides Feinstein, the other Democrats to approve Mukasey's nomination were:
    Chuck Schumer, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Tom Carper of Delaware, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

    These Senate hearings seem like a charade to me. We need a new A.G. -- and not one appointed by John McCain.

    •  And, Was I Ever-So-Proud of Senator Bayh -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      NOT!! I expressed my extreme displeasure to his support after Mukasey's confirmation. To Senator Bayh's credit, I guess, he did actually write me back, and it sounded like he'd actually read my letter. He wants to be Senator Clinton's VP so bad he's about to plotz!

      "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

      by CityLightsLover on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:44:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, at this point the question for Mukasey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, Alohaleezy

    is "Why SHOULDN'T we impach you?"

    They lost the benefit of the doubt years ago. Of all people, senators should realize by this point that if it's someone from BushCo talking, the default assumption is that they're lying.

    Can you do that in court? No. And as the Clinton impeachment effort taught us all, Congress ain't court.

    RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting. CHENEY: So?

    by RickMassimo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:05:33 AM PDT

  •  Mukasey at least admitted 2001 memo was bogus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Even he knows that couldn't fly.

    •  What makes you think it couldn't fly? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      You would need federal appellate courts willing to second guess a search and seizure carried out during a military operation -- albeit a domestic one.

      I have no confidence that if a prisoner were seized in violation of the 4th amendment and were housed in the 4th, 11th, 3rd, 5th or DC Circuits that those appeals courts would find no problem.  

      It is a toss up whether the Supreme Court would sustain such a ruling -- but it's a very, very close question given the composition of the Court.

      "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

      by Bartimaeus Blue on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:24:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw excerpts of that testimony. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, nagamaki

    I then ran to my dictionary to look up the word "obtuse," certain I'd find a picture of Mukasey.

    "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

    by fishhead on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:08:26 AM PDT

  •  So what country was the phone call from. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, 417els, Neon Mama, maizenblue

    Surely it should become common knowledge.

    •  Call from Afghanistan 'safe house' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chumley, frandor55

      to U.S. prior to 9/11.   Within close proximity to the two memos/PDB's on Aug 6 & 7th.
      Condi's testimony on that subject will go down in history in my book.  The arrogant SOB.

      Where people fear the government there is tyrany: "Where the government fears the people, you have liberty." Thomas Jefferson

      by ROADRUNNER DEM on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:29:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mukasey said it was not a safe house in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frandor55, Neon Mama, driftwood

        Afghanistan in his response to Leahy yesterday. That was his story a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday he backed off it. Hence driftwood's question about which country it was.

        And the other question, of course: why didn't the 9/11 Commission know about this?

        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

        by Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:45:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Saudi Arabia? (0+ / 0-)

      Would not be unlikely considering most of the hijackers were born there. Pakistan would be another option. Both, uhm, are "allies" of Bush though, so that would be rather embarassing.

      Hillary Clinton: campaign like it's 1996.

      by Calouste on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:44:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Closed sessions, and LEAKS afterwards !!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alohaleezy, nagamaki, ROADRUNNER DEM

    If the Dems in Congress don't "go postal" over this stuff, who will?

    BushCo has lost all moral authority. And we seem Dems going to work every morning with the same old tactics. It is time for a change.

    It is time for expose after expose, LEAK after LEAK, until the stench of the shroud unveils the true picture of BushCo disregard for our nation.

    It is genocide, population control, pure and simple, that Bush & Co intend on the American people. These are the subversives in our midst.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:09:42 AM PDT

  •  With all the attention (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nagamaki, ROADRUNNER DEM

    we have focused on the campaign these days, who knows what else these lying bastards are up to. Thank God someone on the Hill is paying attention. Jesus, I forgot how much I hate them. How do they get away with this BS?

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:10:33 AM PDT

    •  people who keep their heads in sand... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alohaleezy, Neon Mama

      Perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims: we can be clear about three of these categories. The bystander, however, is the fulcrum. If there are enough notable exceptions, then protest reaches a critical mass. We don’t usually think of history as being shaped by silence, but, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

      These old quotes are as true today as ever!
      We all know friends, family, co-workers who have these attitudes (also some Cspan callers).  We must try to educate them against their will (somehow).
      If our voices are loud enough (thank you Code Pink), eventually they & the world will hear us.
      God Bless America!    "Yes we can!"

      Where people fear the government there is tyrany: "Where the government fears the people, you have liberty." Thomas Jefferson

      by ROADRUNNER DEM on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:35:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they need to change ....... (0+ / 0-)

    the current name Department of Justice under bushy to Free For All! After all Justice seems to depend more upon which side of the bed these assholes get up on, than anything having to do with right and wrong, or heaven forbid, real intelligence!

  •  I don't know if this is the right place, (5+ / 0-)

    but I think it needs to be noted that, if Justice Kennedy's definition of the rule is correct, then the legal/illegal distinction is inoperative when it comes to the agents of government.  Individual persons are prohibited from engaging in illegal behavior.  Everything that's not illegal for the individual is, ipso facto, legal.

    But, the agents of government, deriving their powers from the people, are limited to performing only those acts that are either mandated or permitted.  Any behavior that's not been permitted, is, ipso facto, unlawful.

    Unlawful is not the same as illegal.  If an action by an agent of government hasn't been permitted by legislation (the execution of some people convicted of specific crimes is an example), then the behavior is an abuse of power and contrary to the interests of the state.  Perhaps even treasonous.

    So, unless the physical assault of detainees (in other than self-defense) has been authorized by legislative action, what the N.S.C. claimed to have been authorized, wasn't.  Only the Congress can authorize behavior.

    Bottom line: the categorization of "enhanced interrogation" as legal is irrelevant.  Legal/illegal are not applicable categories for the behavior of government agents.  The assertion in this instance is comparable to a declaration that a soft-drink is homogenized, referring to a process that applies to milk, not sugar water.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

    •  ah, a fundamentalist, I see... (0+ / 0-)

      Lets IMPEACH first and ask questions later, shall we?
      If there's a one percent chance that Cheney/Bush are breaking the law, then impeach them and ask questions in the appropriate forum.

      The defendant has RIGHTS!

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

      by ezdidit on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:42:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Impeachment is a charge or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        accusation.  The accused would not be expected to answer questions.  It is up to the accusers to prove their case.

        Remember?  We don't expect people to testify against themselves.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:29:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mukasey is a liar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frandor55, Terminus, ezdidit

    Maybe Mukasey has been watching too many Deathwish or Dirty Harry movies. Maybe Mukasey has inspired a generation of Florida teens to kidnap and torture suspected terrorists and put it on Myspace.
    Wow what an inspiration.

    Torture is Chic! Just ask Florida teens! Thanks Bush/Cheney!

    by plok on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:28:33 AM PDT

  •  Gee... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frandor55, Terminus, Neon Mama, eco d

    you could almost say that Mukasey is just making shit up

    You Sacrifice the Thing You Love the Most. I Love My Guitar - Jimi Hendrix

    by jds1978 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:30:04 AM PDT

  •  The scramble to be on the Pardon list will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978, ezdidit

    be something to watch.  Expect the chimps schedule to be full in the fall.

  •  There's hundreds of things Democrats should have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frandor55, ezdidit, Neon Mama

    Done.  How many have they actually performed in overseeing the administration?  It's laughable.

    Who is responsible here?  Is it the criminals like Mukasey, or those who are supposed to keep them in check?

    All of our people have failed us, Joan.  It's one of the reasons the story won't gain traction, and one of the reasons my own work was basically ignored this morning.

    Our own elected people have failed too much, and even if the Reality Society says so sometimes most of the liberals and voters in the Democratic base don't want to hear. So they won't listen to it.

  •  Mukasey needs to be grilled and hounded. (4+ / 0-)

    Remember, this was the guy who was supposed to be better than Gonzalez -- more truthful, open, and less of a lapdog for Cheney and Bush.

    He needs to be held to an even higher standard than Gonzo, since he was presented as someone who wouldn't pull this propagandizing crap.

    Mukasey has been a disgrace since he entered the office.

    Haul him up before Congress again and again, and if he keeps acting like a Bush henchman rather than  the Attorney General, IMPEACH the lying S.O.B.

    President JOHN McCAIN = George W. Bush's third term.

    by chumley on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:33:08 AM PDT

  •  It feels like we're getting close (4+ / 0-)

    On the surface this doesn't feel any different from any other of the countless lies/cover-ups this admin has perpetrated. Congress pays what appears to be only nominal attention, as does the trad media. These things are starting to feel different now, though. Not sure if it's my own optimism coloring how i'm seeing things, but it feels like the attention by the Congress is more genuine, and has more teeth, and that the media is coming around, too. Maybe it's just that they both are finally getting over their collective fear of the Bushies. I'm sure recent displays of spine by Congress and more pronounced petulance by the admin in front of the press helps, as well. Whatever it is, i hope the momentum towards real efforts to hold the admin accountable continue.

    Guil: So there you are. Ros: Stark raving sane. - T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

    by eco d on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:33:28 AM PDT

    •  I truely believe that many Senators & Reps (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, JG in MD, eco d

      have tried, but, we are a nation of laws (still?) and they need proof.  For years, all the documents that they have requested have been stalled, been redacted by 'white-out' or 'black-out'.  And without sufficient votes in the Senate...there has been no justice.  Yet.
      I've spent many, many hours watching the hearings on Cspan.  We do have great Senate interrogators, such as, Pat Leahy, Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Russ Feingold, Herb Kohl....more.  
      I applaud them all and pray that soon we will be rewarded with the 'truth rising to the top' like 'oil on water'.

      Where people fear the government there is tyrany: "Where the government fears the people, you have liberty." Thomas Jefferson

      by ROADRUNNER DEM on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:44:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree completely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The change i'm feeling is that there seems to be more attention paid to the instances when the vigilant congresscritters are speaking up.

        I still am optimistic we'll get that reward you're talking about.

        Guil: So there you are. Ros: Stark raving sane. - T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

        by eco d on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:47:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No Immunity For BushCo !!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    Telco Immunity is BushCo immunity, by extension!

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:39:04 AM PDT

  •  One more reason why I see the Election of '08... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as a race.

    A race between those who are so desperate for things to change.  And those who pray that we've grown so numb that we no longer care.

    Character is destiny. -- Heraclitus

    by BA BarackUS on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:40:04 AM PDT

  •  Mukasey appearing before Congress: (0+ / 0-)

    The Fool on the Hill!

    "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:40:09 AM PDT

  •  Thank you sebnators Schumer and Feinstein... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For your foresight in vouching for this "honorable" man. Shame on you both.

  •  20th century obfuscation (0+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised that the staff of these senators don't supply their bosses with quick responses to weasels like Mukasey. With all the online resources, a few savvy searches on laptops should nail these people.

    Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine!

    by jimbo92107 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:55:56 AM PDT

    •  Of course, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      That's assuming Leahy and Feinstein really want answers to be aired in public. It's also quite possible that our "Democratic" representatives are conspiring to help hide the real horror of what the Bushies are doing to America.

      How many times have our supposed representatives failed miserably to nail obvious dodges like the word "today" in Mukasey's response to the spying question? In the context of a weaselly witness, "today" should instantly trigger an exploration of specific time spans. If that's obvious to an untrained observer like me, you can bet it's obvious to a US senator, most of whom are lawyers.

      Yet they didn't pursue time spans. Curious.

      Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine!

      by jimbo92107 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:04:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He is not the President's lawyer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AllanTBG, Neon Mama

    Why do all the AG's appointed by Bush think they work for him and not for the people of the United States?

    This is why we need Obama. It is a gov of the people, by the people FOR THE PEOPLE. Not for the party in charge.

  •  Where did this punk Yoo get the power to repeal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, Neon Mama

    the Fourth Amendment?

    Client 9 from Outer Space

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

    •  His memorandum was issued as the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, Neon Mama

      position of the office of legal counsel of DOJ.  That's very, very persuasive authority -- under normal circumstances.  

      And the issue isn't so much whether he could himself repeal it but whether other government officials could escape criminal or civil liability for acts taken in good-faith reliance on his opinion.

      In other words -- You didn't actually but he did effectively repeal the Amendment because no one who acted to violate it could be held responsible for relying on the OLC opinion.

      "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

      by Bartimaeus Blue on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:27:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Less the NSA's fault (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, Neon Mama

    What that Joint Inquiry concluded was that, while there may have been problems with intelligence agency coordination, the problem was not that FISA--or any other law--prevented intelligence activities, but that NSA chose not to follow up on this lead.

    That misapportions a good deal of the blame.  It is more accurate to state that the NSA, acting in accordance with established practice under EO 12333, chose not to follow up on the lead.  Of course, NSA practices and EO 12333 itself could and should have readily been changed by the Bush administration in response to the stream of alerts to al Qaeda activities and intentions that was flowing all the way up to the White House principals in the months before 9/11.  There was plenty of room within FISA for the Bush administration to act in response to this and other electronic surveillance leads.  That they choose not to do so is, in turn, not cause for gutting FISA or for granting retroactive immunity to the telecoms.

  •  outraged at the Democrats! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    "The only thing worse than suffering an injustice is committing an injustice."

  •  So many weasel words... (0+ / 0-)

    "My understanding is that is not operative."

    The operative word is understanding.

    This is not a declarative statement, "That is not operative."  It's his understanding which from previous Bush AGs we know is subject to change.

    I will go so far as to assert that Mukasey's understanding could be wrong. He's not in the Cheney-Addison loop, is he?

    I'm calling Feinstein's office about this.

  •  High crimes and misdemeansors revisited! (0+ / 0-)

    Harsh interrogation techniques OK’d by Vice President Cheney and approved by President G.W. Bush are just the icing on the cake. "All high crimes and misdemeanors" committed by members of this administration must be pursued.  This president's poll numbers are low, but the Congress has even lower ratings because they do nothing the People request!  "Where there's a will, there's a way."  One thing everyone knows how to do there in Washington, D.C. is shift the blame.  The Congress and the Media are just as guilty if this matter is not pursued.  Haven't we learning anything since Watergate and the Clinton impeachment?  No president or administration is above the law!  The appropriate congressional committees must hold hearings. The Media must be the watchdog and uncover then expose these crimes for what they are.  A president failing to execute and/or breaking our laws, trampling our Constitution, denying our civil rights and liberties, and obstructing justice are very serious indeed, and we must act!

    P. S.  The media needs to also stop going easy on McCain.  Forget that he's a maverick.  He's a flip-flopper and his character, since Vietnam and especially since the Keating Five and lobbyists, has been compromised.

  •  So if you do something that is deemed illegal (0+ / 0-)

    by someone like John Yoo in a 'confidential memo' are you still expected to obey a law (or interpretation) you had no opportunity to know existed? I've heard ignorance is no excuse, but this has gotten so bizare.

    Love that "power of the purse!" It looks so nice up there on the mantle (and not the table) next to the "subpoena power."

    by Sacramento Dem on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:30:12 AM PDT

  •  Schumer's Boy (0+ / 0-)
    Perhaps they should ask Schumer to explain.

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