Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Overprivileged Executive

New York Times (Editorial):
It is hardly news that top officials in the current Justice Department flout the law and make false statements to Congress, but the latest instance may be the most egregious. When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wanted the USA Patriot Act renewed in the spring of 2005, he told the Senate, “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.” But The Washington Post reported yesterday that just six days earlier, the F.B.I. had sent Mr. Gonzales a report saying that it had obtained personal information it should not have.

There were multiple cases of FBI abuse, not just "one." Thus, AG Gonzales' statement was perfectly accurate. And to think these folks were critical of former President Clinton's attempts to parse what the meaning of "is", is.

This is hardly the first time Mr. Gonzales has played so free and loose with the facts in his public statements and Congressional testimony. In the United States attorneys scandal — the controversy over the political purge of nine top prosecutors — Mr. Gonzales and his aides have twisted and mutilated the truth beyond recognition.

"Free and loose"? You're being spoil sports. Mr. Gonzales was precisely
correct (and correct only precisely). I thought you guys knew about words.
Even if Mr. Bush was directly involved, Ms. Miers and Ms. Taylor would have no right to withhold their testimony. The Supreme Court made clear in the Watergate tapes case, its major pronouncement on the subject, that the privilege does not apply if a president’s privacy interests are outweighed by the need to investigate possible criminal activity. Congress has already identified many acts relating to the scandal that may have been illegal, including possible obstruction of justice and lying to Congress.

And speaking of using words: The first clause of this paragraph would appear to be a subjunctive (hypothesizing something contrary to truth), and as such, it takes "were" rather than "was". Surely the Times is beyond such grammatical errors. Is this a tricky way of insinuating that the Times believes W. actually was involved?

Other than that part about "obstruction of justice and lying to Congress," of course.

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