Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The AP has the smoking gun on Alberto Gonzales' perjury before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

Remember those idiotic answers Gonzo gave to the committee yesterday regarding his midnight ride to John Ashcroft's bedside, and his claims that the "visit" -- and his briefings to the so-called "gang of eight" in Congress -- had to do with "other surveillance programs" and not the notorious Terrorist Surveillance Program being conducted, illegally, by the NSA? Well, turns out, he was lying:
(AP) Documents indicate eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, come as senators consider whether a perjury investigation should be opened into conflicting accounts about the program and a dramatic March 2004 confrontation leading up to its potentially illegal reauthorization.

A Gonzales spokesman maintained Wednesday that the attorney general stands by his testimony.

At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Gonzales repeatedly testified that the issue at hand was not about the terrorist surveillance program, which allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on suspects in the United States without receiving court approval.

Instead, Gonzales said, the emergency meetings on March 10, 2004, focused on an intelligence program that he would not describe.

Gonzales, who was then serving as counsel to Bush, testified that the White House Situation Room briefing sought to inform congressional leaders about the pending expiration of the unidentified program and Justice Department objections to renew it. Those objections were led by then-Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey, who questioned the program's legality.

"The dissent related to other intelligence activities," Gonzales testified at Tuesday's hearing. "The dissent was not about the terrorist surveillance program."

"Not the TSP?" responded Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. "Come on. If you say it's about other, that implies not. Now say it or not."

"It was not," Gonzales answered. "It was about other intelligence activities."

A four-page memo from the national intelligence director's office shows that the White House briefing with the eight lawmakers on March 10, 2004, was about the terror surveillance program, or TSP.

Gotcha. So what now, Dems?

A special counsel should and must be empaneled to investigate Mr. Gonzales for perjury. Second, Congress should move to impeach him on the same grounds. If the Democrats refuse, they aren't fit to hold their offices, or to sit in the houses of Congress. It's time to stop bitching about the administration and take some goddammned action.

Update: ThinkProgress has the DNI's smoking gun letter.

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posted by JReid @ 9:00 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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