Remember how horrible it was that the President of the United States lied
under oath to congress? My how times have changed. Now it seems perjury is the
norm for Washington. It first became evident when Scooter Libby was indicted for
the same crime last fall. Republicans quickly took to the airwaves dismissing
the charges as a “technicality”. Amazing how a technicality was able to lead to
a vote of impeachment for a President of this country seven short years ago.
Now the media is starting to highlight another case of perjury and this time
it has been committed by the highest law enforcement official in the land – the
Attorney General. From this morning’s
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General
Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year
ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the
president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens.
In a letter to the attorney general yesterday, Feingold demanded to know
why Gonzales dismissed the senator’s question about warrantless
eavesdropping as a “hypothetical situation” during a Senate Judiciary
Committee hearing in January 2005. At the hearing, Feingold asked Gonzales
where the president’s authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the
president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws
and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.
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.
In fact, the president did secretly authorize the National Security
Agency to begin warrantless monitoring of calls and e-mails between the
United States and other nations soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks. The program, publicly revealed in media reports last month, was
unknown to Feingold and his staff at the time Feingold questioned Gonzales,
according to a staff member. Feingold’s aides developed the 2005 questions
based on privacy advocates’ concerns about broad interpretations of
What amazes me hear is the fact that these people can flat out lie to Senate
during a confirmation hearing and still be allowed to continue in their job.
That is the same as lying on an application or during an interview – an offense
that generally leads to termination. But, if your the Attorney General, lying
under oath is fine. He is one of the President’s men and has the feeling of
being “above the law”. Well it is time for our Congress to knock these criminals
back to reality and have them charged if they did commit crimes.
Just consider the trend we have seen in the past year. First, Tom Delay gets
indicted. First time in our nation’s history that a member of the leadership in
either house of Congress has been indicted. To make matters worse, Bill Frist
could be indicted for insider trading. Then we get the arrest of Scooter Libby.
First time in history a top official in the White House has been arrested. This
Republican culture of corruption must be brought to an end. Essentially, our
very democracy is under siege by them and it can not be allowed to continue.
Remember this when you go to the polls this November and make sure you
educate your friends and families on these very simple facts.