Friday, March 16, 2007

Now What, Albie?

Sens. Durbin, Feingold, Kennedy, and Schumer sent Alberto Gonzales a letter on official stationary asking just what the heck he's been up to. Not too long ago the NSA was wiretapping calls from the US without warrants and the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility started nosing around after a couple Senators complained, after they NY Times broke the story. The OPR was denied the security clearances required to interview Jack Goldsmith Asst. AG of Office of Legal Counsel and James A Baker of Intelligence Policy and Review, both of whom hadn't liked the NSA program, for legal reasons. Geo. Bush denied the clearances. Nobody has ever heard of such a thing. In fact, the same clearances were issued to investigators of the leak to the Times, including civilians. Odd.

Even odder is that the investigation was headed straight for Albie. It not only looks very much as though the AG A.G. knew he was a target, but he also informed Geo II of that. This raises some ethics questions that are real tough to just blow off. An officer of the court cannot interfere with legal investigations and particularly not when they may be involved, recusing themselves is the proper procedure. For sure Alberto discussed the matter with Bush, what he told him is open to some question. If he did not tell him that he was a target, he is guilty of impeding an investigation and misleading the President, if he told him, they both are guilty of impeding an investigation.

What the Senators are asking Albie is: When did you know you were a target, who told you, did you tell the President, and did you recommend that Bush deny clearances? They'd like an answer by Tuesday, March 20. They have "concerns about the independence and integrity of the Justice Dept under your leadership." Jeeze, ya think so? I actually have a few more concerns than that, but...

Credit the National Journal for stirring this pot, the Senators do in their Letter to Albie. Oh man, you've got to love it. Oversight

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