Friday, May 18, 2007


And for a further insight into how Alberto Gonzales & others in the Bush Regime operate there is the recent testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey who told the rather disturbing story of Alberto Gonzales trying to pressure former Attorney General Ashcroft into signing papers "to reauthorize Bush's domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal."
while Ashcroft was hospitalized in an ICU...sort of like vultures swooping in on a possibly dying man...unsavoury ...unethical ...& of course Machiavellian..

a man with integrity therefore he would have to resign well of course given the unscrupulous unethical possibly deceitful form of behaviour to take advantage of an extremely ill person who may have been on his deathbed for all Card & Gonzales knew what sort of creatures are these Neocons

Gonzales Hospital Episode Detailed
Ailing Ashcroft Pressured on Spy Program, Former Deputy Says

By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 16, 2007; A01

On the night of March 10, 2004, as Attorney General John D. Ashcroft lay ill in an intensive-care unit, his deputy, James B. Comey, received an urgent call.

White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President Bush's chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., were on their way to the hospital to persuade Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush's domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal.

In vivid testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Comey said he alerted FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and raced, sirens blaring, to join Ashcroft in his hospital room, arriving minutes before Gonzales and Card. Ashcroft, summoning the strength to lift his head and speak, refused to sign the papers they had brought. Gonzales and Card, who had never acknowledged Comey's presence in the room, turned and left.

The sickbed visit was the start of a dramatic showdown between the White House and the Justice Department in early 2004 that, according to Comey, was resolved only when Bush overruled Gonzales and Card. But that was not before Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and their aides prepared a mass resignation, Comey said. The domestic spying by the National Security Agency continued for several weeks without Justice approval, he said.

"I was angry," Comey testified. "I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me."

The broad outlines of the hospital-room conflict have been reported previously, but without Comey's gripping detail of efforts by Card, who has left the White House, and Gonzales, now the attorney general. His account appears to present yet another challenge to the embattled Gonzales, who has strongly defended the surveillance program's legality and is embroiled in a battle with Congress over the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys last year.

It also marks the first public acknowledgment that the Justice Department found the original surveillance program illegal, more than two years after it began.

Gonzales, who has rejected lawmakers' call for his resignation, continued yesterday to play down his own role in the dismissals. He identified his deputy, Paul J. McNulty, who announced his resignation Monday, as the aide most responsible for the firings.

"You have to remember, at the end of the day, the recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general," Gonzales said at the National Press Club. "The deputy attorney general would know best about the qualifications and the experiences of the United States attorneys community, and he signed off on the names," he added.

Compare this rather lackluster report by the Washington Post with an article by Tim Grieve " The Ashcroft-Gonzales hospital room showdown " posted in the WARROOM BLOG At SALON which captures a different & in my view a more accurate tone of what Comey described happened in Ashcroft's hospital room :

Comey was determined to stop them. "So I hung up the phone," Comey told the committee, and I "immediately called my chief of staff, told him to get as many of my people as possible to the hospital immediately. I hung up, called [FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller and -- with whom I'd been discussing this particular matter and had been a great help to me over that week -- and told him what was happening. He said, 'I'll meet you at the hospital right now.' [I] told my security detail that I needed to get to George Washington Hospital immediately. They turned on the emergency equipment and drove very quickly to the hospital. I got out of the car and ran up -- literally ran up the stairs with my security detail."

The story gets better at this point. Comey's testimony reads like a detective story. Minutes later, there is a showdown in the hospital room. Ashcroft, buffered by his wife and three of his senior deputies, faces down Gonzales and Card and refuses to sign off on the spy program. Gonzales and Card storm out of the room. Card calls Comey and demands that he come to the White House, but Comey refuses to go until he can get Ted Olson, the solicitor general, to accompany him. "After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness," Comey tells Card.

The White House meeting produces no breakthrough. So the White House reauthorizes the program without the approval of the Department of Justice, apparently breaking its own procedure. "I prepared a letter of resignation, intending to resign the next day, Friday, March the 12th," Comey said. He expected many other senior Justice Department leaders, including Mueller, to resign as well. Eventually, President Bush steps in to smooth out the waters, overrule his staff and give permission to change the secret spy program to address the concerns of the Department of Justice.

and the article concludes with an update by Michael Scherer:

So how does White House press secretary Tony Snow respond? In his press conference today, he dodged direct questions and suggested that James Comey, the former deputy attorney general, who made the accusations, was grandstanding.

"The fact is, you've got somebody who has splashy testimony on Capitol Hill. Good for him," said Snow. "We're not talking about internal deliberations."

That explanation will not stand. At some point the White House will have to respond to these claims in detail, or the story will last for weeks.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., has already compared the ordeal to the "Saturday Night Massacre," the fateful night when both the attorney general and the deputy attorney general resigned after being ordered by President Nixon to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-in.

In comparison the Post's article reads like a report written by the TV character Lt. Joe. Friday in the series Dragnet... Give me " the facts m'am, just the facts "- This is at the heart of what's wrong with the Pot's style of reportage in this case & many others when the story might cast a shadow over the Bush/Cheney Regime unable possibly to tell the difference between someone taking a cheap shot at Bush & Co & issues which are important ...the great American jounalist Edward R. Morrow also made sure he had his facts right but that was not the end & totality of his role as a journalist it is also express the tone needed for the story - not everything reported in the news is of equal importance and when the response to a story is one of incredulity or anger & outrage then that is also part of the story since journalist are not supposed to act like robots or unfeeling drones like those journalist who stalked the halls of the Kremlin in the Old Soviet Union ...

Comey testifying about the running of the Department of Justice he actually wanted the department to operate in a non-partisan & ethical manner - are there more like him who might also now tell what began to happen at the department

second clip : Comey testifies that he gave some names of attorneys who he thought because of weak performance should resign but of the eight who resigned only one had been on the list he gave Gonzales.

Illustrating his real concern about the Department of Justice & the good work that it does rather than just being or acting like another robotic bureaucrat- surely this testimony will have an impact but probably not sinc it maybe the public sees nothing wrong with this sort of behaviour but trying to get a possibly for all Gonzales knew a dying man to authorize an illegal program which most likely would have happened if Comey & his people hadn't shown up at the hearing ... honesty

compare this to what Gonzales who is a real " Team-player " who will do what he can to protect his boss even it makes himself come across as an incompetent Amnesiac... had to say to the Judiciary Committee the Don't recall blues

take care,