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Specter refuses to swear in Gonzales

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posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 10:38 AM
Not sure if this should be here or on ATS or in some different forum on PTS, but this seemed applicable to me. If it is not, I trust the judgement of moderators to put it where it belongs.

The hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee into the domestic wiretapping program opened this morning with committee chairman Arlen Specter refusing to swear in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, even though Gonzales said he didn't mind being sworn in.


Sen. Russ Feingold opened the questioning and Sen. Patrick Leahy pushed Specter to swear in the witness, especially since the attorney general said he didn't mind.

Specter responded: "Attorney General Gonzales is not the chairman. I am and I make the rules."

And a video of the exchange is available here

Why not swear him in? Isn't that just a nod to go ahead and lie? Not that I trust some of these people to be honest even under oath, but still. It kind of seems that Specter isn't truly interested in conducting a legitimate investigation into the wiretapping.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 11:13 AM
Thanks for posting this. This is so telling! He did lie, as discussed in this PODcast.

Last January at Gonzales' Confirmation Hearing, where he WAS under oath, he was asked about a hypothetical situation in which the president would use wiretaps without a warrant. Gonzales refused to answer, under the grounds that it was a hypothetical question, but added that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize such actions.

Jump forward one year, we learn that the president was indeed using wiretaps without a warrant and that Gonzales himself, who was White House council at the time the wiretapping program began, has since said he was involved in affirming the president's authority to launch the wiretapping program.

So, while he was being confirmed a year ago, he lied and then outed himself! Oops!

Washington Post

Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.
Gonzales was White House counsel at the time the program began and has since acknowledged his role in affirming the president's authority to launch the surveillance effort.
"It now appears that the Attorney General was not being straight with the Judiciary Committee and he has some explaining to do," Feingold said in a statement yesterday.

Emphasis added.

"Not being straight". I love that! He lied, covered the president's bum, then leaked his own lie. And now, he doesn't have to go under oath.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 12:26 PM
Oh, that's terrific.

Completely disregarding his (lack of?) credibility for a moment, why should he even get the advantage of not being sworn in? That is, why can Congress decide someone won't be sworn in? Shouldn't everyone be treated equally in that situation? If I were called in to testify before Congress, would I not be forced to say the oath?

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 02:26 PM
Coincidence that Spector is a Republican with age old ties to stuff like this? If this isnt permission to lie I dont know what is.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 02:57 PM
If he were just some regular party-line-adhering Republican, it almost wouldn't be as serious of an issue. But he's publicly acting like the domestic wiretapping violates the Constitution and needs to be seriously investigated.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 06:14 PM
when the investigated the illegal wiretapping before, I think regarding Nixon, they hauled in the heads of the telecom industry and questioned was the only way to figure out just what wiretapping was being done, since before anyone in government would say anything incriminating, well, they'd cry national security. by what I hear, they have no intention of bothering such important people as the heads of at&t and such. so, well, they more than likely will not get a clear picture of just what has been taking place. without that clear picture, I don't think they can really make a decision as to weather or not it's legal, unless they've already decided that one way or another, and this is just a show. either way, this whole inquiry just may be a nice little hoax, put on to entertain the masses.....and appease them a little, I mean, they still want your vote!

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 07:07 PM
You want to know one littler fact about the wiretapping, well. . . it seems that as long as the government do not have anybody under custody or have gotten nobody's name in the open as been a target.

It can not be brought ot any court as a violation of privacy rights, only if an American citizen charge after illegal wiretapping then it can be question by the court.

Funny, no wonder is never been any arrest in relations to what they were doing.

They are covering their butts very well.

They are dirty, nasty and corrupt that mark my words they were listening to American groups that are no happy with the president al-qaida was just the excused.

posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 03:43 PM
Interesting article on this:

Gonzales Highlights and Lowlights son steals a bag of candy from our corner store – and is caught.
Store Owner: You son’s a thief.
Bob’s Wife: No, he’s not.
Store Owner: But he stole a bag of candy.
Bob’s Wife: He’s eight years old and loves candy. That’s gives him a reason.
Store Owner: But it’s illegal.
Bob’s Wife: He doesn’t think it’s illegal if you really want Skittles and don’t like the law against stealing candy. So it’s OK.

It's really quite funny.

“And so it comes with huge shock, as Senator Leahy said, that the president of the United States in Buffalo, New York, in 2004, would say, and I quote, ‘Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.’

“Mr. Attorney General, in light of what you and the president have said in the past month, this statement appears to be false. Do you agree?”

Now get a load of Gonzales’s hilarious reply.

“No, I don’t, Senator. In fact, I take great issue with your suggestion that somehow the president of the United States was not being totally forthcoming with the American people.”

He’s such a kidder.

posted on Feb, 8 2006 @ 08:13 AM
There is a video on the net somewhere of that same speech in '04, spliced with the more recent one with Bush defending his position as completely legal. It then has a clip of Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold (I think thats his name) saying "Legally, the president doesnt have a leg to stand on...He is a president, not a KING."

Its almost funny to see them back to back...but I was too busy crying.

posted on Feb, 8 2006 @ 12:21 PM
Feingold has an excellent speech in response to the entire issue that Raw Story posted yesterday.

Article link

A few highlights:

We expect there will be other hearings. That is a start, but it will take more than just hearings to get the job done.

We know that in part because the President’s Attorney General has already shown a willingness to mislead the Congress.

At the hearing yesterday, I reminded the Attorney General about his testimony during his confirmation hearings in January 2005, when I asked him whether the President had the power to authorize warrantless wiretaps in violation of the criminal law. We didn’t know it then, but the President had authorized the NSA program three years before, when the Attorney General was White House Counsel. At his confirmation hearing, the Attorney General first tried to dismiss my question as “hypothetical.” He then testified that “it’s not the policy or the agenda of this President to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.”

[The President] said that he had authorized the NSA’s domestic spying program, and he made a number of misleading arguments to defend himself. His words got rousing applause from Republicans, and even some Democrats.

The President was blunt, so I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program.

How is that worthy of applause? Since when do we celebrate our commander in chief for violating our most basic freedoms, and misleading the American people in the process? When did we start to stand up and cheer for breaking the law? In that moment at the State of the Union, I felt ashamed.

posted on Feb, 8 2006 @ 12:42 PM
Thanks Logan.

Feingold hopefully paves the way for our more morally responsible congress members. We can only hope every freedom loving American follow suit.

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