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Gonzales Hits the Talk Show Circuit

A play in honor of the performances this morning by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his many appearances on the talking head circuit (Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, etc., etc.).

JIMMINY: Why bother going around the FISA law anyway? You could already do an emergency wiretap or surveillance at any time, and get a judge to okay it after the fact. You had everything you needed with the FISA laws. What were you spying on that you didn’t want the FISA courts to know about?

GONZALES: You wound me, Jimminy. This was necessary for national security. Don’t you want this nation to be safe? Have a gumdrop.

JIMMINY: Stop trying to divert me with gumdrops. Let’s get down to the real business. What authority did you rely on in order to justify spying on Americans without a warrant, as required by the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and numerous criminal laws and FISA?

GONZALES: Well, Congress gave us the authority in the 2001 Afghanistan resolution.

JIMMINY: No, they didn’t. There is no provision for eavesdropping or any other increased domestic surveillance in the resolution that I could find when I re-read it this morning in preparation for this interview.

GONZALES: Oh, it contains provisions. And they trump the 1978 FISA laws. Trust me on this.

JIMMINY: I’m sorry, but I see no specific legal authorization in the 2001 Afghan war resolution as passed by Congress. Wouldn’t you say this is more an illegal maneuver by the President, who took advantage of the spirit of bipartisanship that existed in the Congress after 9/11 to increase his power? Oh, and that shirt looks lovely with your complexion. A truly good choice by someone on your staff. Kudos.

GONZALES: Oh, did you hear me say the Afghanistan resolution? You should look into the hearing problem. What I said was that the right to do this is inherent in the war powers of the executive as vested in the Constitution. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

*buzzer sound*

JIMMINY: Um. No. That’s also wrong.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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