Friday, January 20, 2006

Cheney surrenders!

Faced with a continued probe into his connections to the Plame affair, the growing Abramoff scandal, an ongoing disaster in Iraq, accusations of violating federal laws by spying on US citizens without a warrant, renewed threats from Osama bin Laden, and incredibly bad choices in quality footwear, Vice President Cankles gave up today. “I surrender,” he said to an assembled crowd of cronies and yes-men, “you win.”

No. Not really!

Rather, Veep Dick told an assembled crowd of cronies and yes-men that warrantless domestic eavesdropping was “critical to national security.” (Never mind that he can’t tell us how or why it is critical. . . .)

Another face of this charm offensive, Attorney General Roberto Gonzalez, used The Federalist Papers—yes those Federalist Papers—as a justification for the administration’s domestic intelligence abuse. He also dragged in selected parts of the Constitution and cherry-picked from a bunch of casual writings by former presidents to assemble a 42-page “report” that reads like a high school term paper.

The “analysis” was ordered by Gonzo because he thought the conclusions of the January 6 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service were just too, uh, nonpartisan. (The CRS report “challenged virtually all the main legal justifications the administration had cited for the program.”)

The CRS report was especially critical of White House claims that the post-9/11 authorization by Congress to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against terrorists justified the NSA wiretaps.

Fuck that noise, says the Justice Department paper. “The Congressional authorization on the use of force places the president at the zenith of his powers in authorizing the N.S.A. activities.”

Oooh, “zenith.” Somebody got a word-a-day calendar for Christmas.

Just to give equal time, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), read the DoJ’s thoughts and said, “The administration's latest justification for circumventing the law to spy on Americans falls far short of answering the many questions Congress and the American people have about this activity.”

Um, yeah. . . a little.


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