Skip to comments.Editorial: (Senator) Feingold (D, WI) Pins Gonzales (More Liberal Daydreaming...)
Posted on 02/06/2006 12:24:28 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
When the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the most important oversight hearing in recent congressional history this week, Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold will go after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for what appears to be a deliberate deception of the committee and Congress.
This is not a political game. This is not posturing to score ideological or intellectual points.
By every measure, Feingold has the goods on Gonzales.
In advance of the Judiciary Committee hearings on President Bush's authorization of the warrantless wiretapping of the telephones of Americans, Feingold sent a letter to Gonzales asking that the attorney general prepare to explain why, during his confirmation hearings in January 2005, he responded by saying "it's not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes" - a statement that appears to have been a lie.
In his letter, Feingold recalls an exchange during the confirmation hearings in which he specifically asked if Gonzales felt the Bush administration had the authority to authorize warrantless wiretaps in violation of statutory prohibitions. According to the transcript of the exchange, the nominee attempted to avoid answering by dismissing it as "hypothetical."
But Feingold did not let Gonzales dodge the question. The senator pressed him on the matter until Gonzales finally responded, "Senator, this president is not - it's not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes."
Feingold continued the line of questioning, asking, "Finally, will you commit to notify Congress if the president makes this type of decision and not wait two years until a memo is leaked about it?"
Gonzales answered: "I will commit to advise the Congress as soon as I reasonably can, yes, sir."
In his letter to Gonzales, Feingold writes, "In light of recent revelations that the president specifically authorized wiretapping of Americans in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and did so years prior to your confirmation hearing at a time when you were White House counsel, I find this testimony misleading, and deeply troubling. I will expect a full explanation at the hearing."
Gonzales is not an honest man, especially with regard to questions of abuses of power by the president. So it is a given that he will attempt to avoid answering Feingold's questions, and if he is pressed there is every reason to believe that he will attempt once more to deceive Congress.
But it certainly appears that, this time, the attorney general has been caught in his web of lies.
Feingold is right to hold him to account, and the rest of the members of the Judiciary Committee need to back up the senator from Wisconsin. That goes especially for Republicans on the committee, including Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Specter deserves credit for calling the hearing, which had been billed as an examination of "Wartime Executive Power and the NSA's Surveillance Authority" but is really an inquiry into this White House's assaults on the Constitution. But, knowing what he now knows about past lies to the committee, Specter cannot allow this hearing to become another vehicle for executive branch spin and deception.
If Gonzales refuses to cooperate with the committee, he should be sanctioned. If he is proved to have lied to the committee or to have deliberately thwarted its dictates, then appropriate steps should be taken to remove Gonzales from a position of public trust that he has chosen to abuse.
"Feingold All In A Dither" Ping! ;)
Only if the activity in question was criminal. Which is hardly clear enough to claim here.
Feingold has really fallen off the deepend and lost his way.
I'm always impressed with fair and balanced articles that don't draw conclusions before the facts are in and don't use character assassination and demonization tactics against the subjects of their article.
This editorial fails on every count....worthless piece of trash.
I believe they will find out that the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief and runs the war.
The Congress may pay for it, or not, and they get to give out a few medals, if they behave themselves.
If I was asked a question which regarded a TS/SCI program the Senator was not authorized to know about, I would give the same sort of answer.
The real question is whether the Senator received classified information he was not authorized to have when he asked this line of questioning. It seems like a setup in an open session of the Senate.
Oh, Feingold's got us now. Gonzales promised that congress would be informed before they did anything like the NSA wiretap stuff, and ...
Oh wait. Congress WAS informed about this. Well, we can forgive Feingold, it's a secret program and only the intelligence committees were told, so since....
Oh wait. Feingold IS on those committees. So he should have already known about this program.
I wonder, did Feingold go to Rockefeller last year and ask HIM if there was any program in place? Did Rockefeller "lie" to him?
Obviously, this spells the 6,975th official End of the Regime!!
What else do you expect from the 'Peoples Republic of Madison,' otherwise known as 'San Fransico of the Midwest.'
Usless arguments having to do with criminal law and domestic wire taps, which have nothing to do with operations directed at foreign enemies, and are not 'wire taps' at all.
What an idiot!
It boggles the mind how these lo-life senators have completely forgotten what took place on 9/11!! God bless the President for taking it upon himself to do the right thing. That's what we elected him for.
Get back to me when the dawn comes.
Hint ... read some U.S. history. Preferably about the Civil War, and the Second World War, and the presidential authority in conducting those wars.
Also The Clintoon administrations holdings and pronouncements on presidential authority as it pertains to the War Powers Act.
Now out, damn spot!
In addition to that, international electronic communications have been fair game for the intelligence gathering agencies of every nation on earth since the dawn of international electronic communications.
Uhm, pardon me, but don't take that lip with me when YOU clearly can't grasp the SIMPLEST FACT OF ALL about US History, which is: THE FISA law didn't exist during the Civil War and World War II. FISA also didn't cover physical searches when Clinton performed warrantless physical searches.
Any idiot can see that this was illegal. Yeah, there were slaves during the civl war too! But, guess what, NOW SLAVERY IS ILLEGAL!
It's the supreme court's job to determine whether the FISA law is unconstitutional. As it stands now, the president very clearly BROKE that law.
Powerline has listed about 5 various cases that determined that eavesdropping on the enemy's communications is a constitutional right of the POTUS.
There is no case law that finds the President must seek a warrant; there are several cases that have determined he does not.
Congress can not infringe on the inheirant rights of either of the other branches of government.
Suppose Congress passed a law that required the President to not grant a pardon unless it was first reviewed by a special secret "pardon court" that made sure it was proper. Such a law would be an unconstitutional infringement on the right of the President to grant pardons, and no law passed by Congress can do that. So if the President then issued a pardon without following that "pardon court" process, would he be acting above the law? Nope.
The FISA law centers on domestically intercepted communications between a criminal suspect within the US. Many (if not all) of these intercepted Al Quada communications are not even subject to review by the FISA court because the court has no jurisdiction. The POTUS would not need a court warrant to intercept those electronic communications that happen to terminate into the US any more than a commander in Iraq would need a court order before he could examine the cell phone or laptop contents of a captured enemy combatant.
Those that ask "Why didn't he go to the FISA court anyway, because he could get approval up to 72 hrs?" might as well ask why he didn't go to, say, the Ohio Supreme court or some other body who also had no authority to decide the matter. The merits of the situation does not apply to FISA.
You have been given your assignment, and are hereby dismissed to carry it out.
Feingold: "WaaWaaWaa, I wanna be on the ticket for President."
Has anyone ever seen Feingold and Algore in the same room at the same time ?
Fred Barnes just said it, "FISA did not amend the Constitution."
Then look in the mirror...
Feingold couldn't "pin" the tail on the donkey. On second thought, perhaps he could........what a jackass!!
You really need to do your homework on this subject, dude.
You're making a fool out of yourself.
The only way Feingold can make the claim he has made is for him to have presumed guilt, which is of course contrary to the concept of our justice system.
I'll try not to be sarcastic while answering your question.
The answer is: Could it be because you're wrong, and we're right??
"Any idiot can see that this was illegal."
Russ? Russ Feingold? I've asked you time and again to keep your hystrionics and name calling off of my threads...even if they are "all about you." ;)
So let me get this straight. The precedents mentioned showed that Presidents have considerable wartime powers under the Constiution.
FISA was passed by the Legislature.
Therefore the Executive has to live by it even though it encroaches on his Constitutional powers.
SCOTUS has ruled that a branch of government cannot even voluntarily give up its powers to another branch in its decision over the line-item veto. What makes you think that one branch can control the terms of another branch exercising its enumerated powers?
You've been here for a little over two months. We'll see if you really are a fellow conservative. But given your posts on this thread showing an abject ignorance of how the three branches of government interact with each other, I'm not sure how your conservative bona fides will hold up.
You should know.
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What memo ???
I haven't heard anything about a memo leaked on the wiretapping
Cool! I was Troll Bait and I didn't even know it, LOL! Thanks, Mr. Robinson. :)
"What memo? I haven't heard anything about a memo leaked on the wiretapping."
Uht-Oh! I think Russ just accidentally tipped his hand. Good catch. He's probably putting in overtime tonight, typing one up on the same typewriter that CBS news (et al) used to produce their "fake but accurate" memos, LOL!
I'll bet he's tea-dying it right now to make it look "aged."
Man, I'm killin' myself here! LOL!
HINT: She's the bored-looking one on the left....
Here is a question for you...
Why are Republican lawmakers were so adamant that Alberto Gonzales testimony be NOT under oath? Is is an example of serving the people and serving truth? Why don't they want
to him to be under oath?
Hopefully Gonzales will tell her, "open your own hearing on that topic if you want - but I'm here to talk about the NSA".
For starters, please understand that the above article is an Editorial by our local "progressive" rag; in other words, it's a FREE commercial for Feingold. *Rolleyes*
"Why are Republican lawmakers were so adamant that Alberto Gonzales testimony be NOT under oath?"
Do you have something that says that Republican legislators didn't or don't want Gonzales under oath for these hearings? I don't see anything about being under oath or not in this Editorial. I don't know the procedures when someone testifies in front of a commiittee. Are they always to take an oath first? I don't know. I testified before a finance committee made up of WI Legislators during Operation Desert Storm, and I wasn't put under oath. (And Feingold was on that committee as he used to be one of our legislators before we unleashed him on the entire United States, for which I apologize.)
Just because Feingold wants it, doesn't mean that the Republicans are completely opposed to it. There are plenty of RINOs to go around at any hearing held by any committee.
More likely IF Feingold is demanding Gonzales be "under oath" it's so the Dems can try to trip Gonzales up, then start in with the "Gonzales Lied," cr@p.
Why would they operate any differently as they did with Judges Roberts and Alito? It's their standard m.o. and they are so blatant in their hatred for the Bush Administration, it's palpable.