this one is going to stick
around a while — so i’ll break
it out from my earlier update on
all things comey, of today. . .
this is truly excellent. finally — and
deservedly — this story will be widely,
deeply and thoroughly vetted. . .
my bet? — by the middle of next
week, mr. gonzales is going to wish
he had resigned quietly, back when
he had ample chance to do so. . .
let’s get to it, then:
tomorrow’s gray lady implicates
both messrs. cheney, and bush — the
time: march of 2004. . .
. . .Mr. Comey said he reached Theodore B. Olson, the solicitor general, at a dinner party. At the White House session, which included Mr. Olson, Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Comey and Mr. Card, the four officials discussed the impasse. Mr. Comey knew that other top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, wanted to continue the program.
Mr. Card expressed concern about mass resignations at the Justice Department, Mr. Comey said. He told the Senate panel that he prepared a letter of resignation and that David Ayres, Mr. Ashcroft’s chief of staff, asked him to delay delivering it so that Mr. Ashcroft could join him. Mr. Comey said that Mr. Mueller was also prepared to quit.
The next morning, March 11, Mr. Comey went to the White House for a morning terrorism briefing. Afterward, he said Mr. Bush took him aside for a private 15-minute meeting in the president’s study, which Mr. Comey described as a “full exchange.”
At Mr. Comey’s urging, Mr. Bush also met with Mr. Mueller, who emerged to inform Mr. Comey that the president had authorized the changes in the program sought by the Justice Department. . .
mr. comey’s testimony today was
that the program operated outside
the law for at least two, and perhaps
three weeks during march-april of 2004.
it is hard to imagine that this contin-
uation of the program was anything short
of a willful violation of law by both
mr. bush and mr. cheney. . . why wasn’t
the program put “on hold” until its
manifold constitutional infirmities
could be sorted and remedied?
the answer offered by mr. snow
today — “saving lives“. . . seems rather
patrician, now, to suggest that if
lives were truly at stake then, in
march of 2004, then-white-house-counsel
alberto gonzales, and chief-of-staff
andrew card, couldn’t have gotten the
45-day re-authorization process started
just a little earlier — rather than the
night before it expired, the night they
already knew would find john ashcroft
at least partially-incapacitated — this
all just reeks of dark purpose. . .
and james comey is a patriot.
whatever else anyone ever thought
of him before — or since — this
moment defines him for history. . .
while analogies often fail in these
byzanntine scandals. . . he may one
day be seen as the archibald
cox to this fetid administration. . .