Pants On Fire

Yesterday the Attorney General of the United States testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Today we find out that a US government document contradicts Gonzo’s sworn testimony. In other words, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States perjured himself:

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.

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 says the White House briefing with the eight lawmakers on March 10, 2004, was about the terror surveillance program, or TSP.

The memo, dated May 17, 2006, and addressed to then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, details “the classification of the dates, locations, and names of members of Congress who attended briefings on the Terrorist Surveillance Program,” wrote then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. [Emphasis added by me]

The "Terrorist Surveillance Program" did not come about until January 22, 2006, when it was coined by the White House – as late as January 4, 2006 the White House was calling the NSA program "the program to detect and prevent terrorist attacks". The memo that contradicts Gonzo was written on May 17, 2006. On March 10, 2004 the domestic spying program was not known as the "terrorist surveillance program".

On January 24, 2006 George W. Bush said the following at Kansas State University as the White House launched a propaganda campaign to brand the program the "Terrorist Surveillance Program":

Let me talk about one other program — and then I promise to answer questions — something that you’ve been reading about in the news lately. It’s what I would call a terrorist surveillance program. [Emphasis added by me.]

So, Gonzo’s defense will be this: the program during the meeting on March 10, 2004 was not the "terrorist surveillance program". When the program was modified to accommodate the dissent from Jim Comey and others after March 10, 2004 and then approved by the Department of Justice, it came to be known as the "terrorist surveillance program". So, technically Senator, he was not "lying".

Then Gonzo’s pants will burst into fire.


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2 Responses to Pants On Fire

  1. Ingrid says:

    Dearest Mash,
    sorry I’ve been absent for so long. With the kids home for the holidays, there has been no way for me to be online much, let alone read posts in peace. Forget about posting for myself! Anyhow, liar liar pants on fire.. why arent’ we surprised right? I started reading the book ‘hubris’ a few weeks ago but decided to pick it up again once the kids go back to school. I highly recommend it.
    Hope all is well with you and your family..
    I hope to be around more in the near future (geez, my four year old just came back into the house with my husband having caught a little frog..)..see? I can’t even write a comment in peace!!

  2. Mash says:

    Ingrid, its good to hear from you again. We missed you around here. I have also not been posting much lately, and when I have, I’ve focuses a lot on Bangladesh.

    But now I’m spurred on to post as Gonzo implodes…or is it bursts into flames? Not sure.:-?

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