Gonzalez, NSA WiretappingAttorney General Alberto Gonzalez, whom conservatives worry is too "moderate" for their liking and protested against being nominated for a Supreme Court vacancy, showed his unwavering loyalty to the Bush administration with his evasive answers to questions yesterday. Instead of actually answering questions posed by Democrats and rights-concerned Republicans (yes, there are a few), Gonzalez was ambiguous in his replies. Gonzalez stated that "'If you're talking with al Qaeda, we want to know what you're saying,'" thereby providing an obfuscation where one didn't exist before: we know that some of these wiretaps were directed towards peace activists and those with no ties to al Qaeda. This is a dishonest AG defending a dishonest president with dishonest tactics. And this is what is particularly disturbing about this power-mad administration: they do not think that they are answerable to the people and, at times, think that they are above the law. He refused to answer whether personal correspondence could be monitored, and again argued that the Iraq resolution provided the basic law for these wiretaps; as Republican Sen. Specter has pointed out, the legal justification for these wiretaps is spotty at best. From my understanding, the special FISA court could grant wiretapping authorizations very quickly and even do so after an illegal wiretap had occurred; surely, if transparency was this administration's goal, then they would have followed the rule of the law. At issue is, on one level, is basic civil rights and whether they have been violated in this instance, whether the persons spied upon were suspected of sympathizing with al Qaeda or Quaker peace activists. In either instance, the rule of law must apply, and this administration has broken it.
Two good analyses of the NSA wiretapping scandal: