The NSA illegal-spying-on-Americans hearings
February 6, 2006
Senate hearings began Monday on the President's failure to comply with the FISA law, which oversees presidential authorization of wiretaps on American citizens. Even more than when Judge Alito testified at his confirmation hearing last month, the testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the Senate hearings has been an exercise in obfuscation.
The hearing began with heated debate over whether or not the Attorney General of the United States should be sworn in before he presented his testimony. It is telling, and astonishing, that the "he-doesn't-have-to-swear-to-tell-the-truth" side won out. From that point on, the dodging and weaving began.
I share Sen. Patrick Leahy's frustration at Attorney General Gonzales' non-responsiveness to his direct questions. And I agree with Senator Diane Feinstein when she said the only conclusion she could come to was that there was something far larger going on than the President simply ignoring a minor reporting law that he chose not to comply with.
It is time for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate this situation. This is serious stuff, and I would hope the dominance of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate will not stand in the way of getting to the bottom of this issue.