OK, is it alright if we make a big deal out of this? Who gives a rats ass? I’m going to anyway:
Bush Blocked Justice Department Investigation:
During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Specter asked Gonzales, “Why wasn’t OPR given clearances as so many other lawyers in the Department of Justice were given clearance?”
“The president of the United States makes decisions about who is ultimately given access, ” Gonzales responded.
Pressing the attorney general further, Specter asked, “Did the president make the decision not to clear OPR?”
Gonzales responded, “As with all decisions that are non-operational in terms of who has access to the program, the president of the United States makes the decision.”
Check out the video on Crooks and Liars, it’s superlative. I mean, basically we just watched the United States Attorney General roll on the President of the United States. Not that the president hasn’t already made clear he doesn’t care what the public thinks, but in terms of a chain of evidence, this is a clear finger pointed in the direction of El Presidente. Arlen Spectre, for his part, seemed well pleased with that answer and cut off further conversation on this point so that it would stand. As the AG tried to continue double-talking his way into a better answer, Senator Spector’s exact quote was: “I wanna move on to a different subject. The president makes the decision, that’s that.”
Investigations in the Senate are rife with acronyms and assumptions, so to be sure that readers do not miss the point: in short, the OPR is the Office of Professional Responsibility (a wing of the Justice Department, which is itself part of the Administrative Branch).? They had launched an investigation into the NSA wiretapping scheme, in order to find out whether or not it was Consititutional. In order to do so, they need security clearances to view sensitive documents. Those clearances are given to a wide variety of Justice Department lawyers. . . . but Bush blocked the OPR from getting those same clearances. There is obviously no good reason to block OPR lawyers from gaining clearance that other lawyers have already except to frustrate an investigation because you don’t want the American people to know what’s going on.
Will there be ANY fallout from this? Any interest in the main stream at all? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be pissed about it: the president of the United States of America has initialized a domestic spying program without anyone’s consent including yours, and at every step along the way, attempted to crush any attempt at oversight or investigation into the program. Your rights simply do not matter to the president.