First quick reaction to a whole lot of information. I have questions:
Will Specter and company really follow through on appointing a special prosecutor to deal with Bush's shutting down congressional supervision?
Was Gonzo telling the truth when he said he wasn't referring to the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), or was he lying? It's easy to say it was another one of his lies, but stop and think a minute: Did he slip and leak something about an entirely different program, a secret one, that seems to have started on September 11? That's what I wish Schumer had asked him. The good news is that Leahy stepped right in to say they'd follow up.
The dispute centered on an unidentified surveillance activity which Comey and other senior Justice officials had determined they could not reauthorize after a review of its legality. White House officials disagreed and moved aggressively to get the program renewed.
The program he referred to was reinstated March 11 (every six months), which would mean it was in the works before 9/11. So, hmmm, what would that mean?
The Bush administration has refused to say which classified program was at issue in the dispute. Some sources have said the dispute was related to a controversial warrantless surveillance program operated by the National Security Agency, the existence of which was later confirmed by President Bush.
However, Gonzales reiterated today that the dispute was not about the program that Bush described. Gonzales also said he misspoke during a news conference in June, when he said it was the same program.
Gonzales said an emergency meeting was held on the afternoon of March 10, 2004, with the so-called "Gang of Eight," which consists of the bipartisan leadership of the House, Senate and both intelligence committees. Gonzales said congressional leaders agreed that the intelligence activity should continue, and he and Card traveled to George Washington University Hospital that evening to visit Ashcroft, who was recovering from gall bladder surgery.And what about those political briefings?
In one instance, State Department aides attended a White House meeting at which political officials examined the 55 most critical House races for 2002 and the media markets most critical to battleground states for President Bush's reelection fight in 2004, according to documents the department provided to the Senate committee.They targeted media outlets. Four radio stations in Ohio, after the 2006 elections, after Howard Dean said those progressive stations might have helped us win, got shut down. The subject of the briefings was raised during the hearings. How will that be dealt with, and when?
Tomorrow: The house contends with contempt issues.