Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed tonight on Larry King Live. In it, he confirmed that Alberto Gonzales lied last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Below is the exchange between Larry King and Dick Cheney:
Q Moving on to other areas. Alberto Gonzales — do you stand by him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do. Al is a good man, a good friend, in a difficult assignment.
Q Are you troubled by what appears to have happened — the appearance of him not telling the truth?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t want to get into the specifics with respect to his testimony and the questions that were asked. I know Al on a personal and professional basis, and I hold him in high regard.
Q You’re going to stand by him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
Q No doubt about that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Correct.
Q In that regard, The New York Times — which, as you said, is not your favorite — reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President’s intelligence-gathering program. Was it you?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t recall — first of all, I haven’t seen the story. And I don’t recall that I gave instructions to that effect.
Q That would be something you would recall.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I would think so. But certainly I was involved because I was a big advocate of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, and had been responsible and working with General Hayden and George Tenet to get it to the President for approval. By the time this occurred, it had already been approved about 12 times by the Department of Justice. There was nothing new about it.
Q So you didn’t send them to get permission.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital. [Emphasis added by me.]
Larry King was asking Dick Cheney about "the President’s intelligence-gathering program". In response, Cheney confirmed that by the time the hospital confrontation occurred, "it" had been approved 12 times by the DOJ and there was "nothing new about it". The "it" being the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" as Cheney makes clear in the preceding sentence, even though Larry King had referred to it as "the President’s intelligence-gathering program". There you have it: confirmation from the Vice President of the United States that Gonzo confronted Ashcroft about the "Terrorist Surveillance Program".
In last week’s testimony, Gonzo claimed that the "dissent" and the subject of the hospital bed confrontation with Ashcroft was not about the "Terrorist Surveillance Program":
“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.” [Emphasis added by me.]
Now, the man who apparently sent Gonzo on his late night errand is directly contradicting him. Time to resign, Gonzo.
[UPDATE (7/31/2007 10:50 PM): I cross-posted at the Daily Kos. The diary has hit the recommended list and there is a lively comment thread.]
[Update 2: TPMMuckraker has now picked up on Cheney’s little admission. Hopefully, the MSM will follow…]