Department Of… Something Or Other
First we have Bradley Schlozman, Vote Suppressor Extraordinaire, testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and – brace yourself – completely unable to recall anything. Money quotes from an extraordinarily ticked-off Pat Leahy:
I think you’re trying to break Attorney General Gonzales’ record of saying you “don’t recall” or you “don’t remember.” I’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve said that.
During the course of your preparation, did you find that you remembered anything?
Ouch. Think Progress also has a lovely video compilation of Leahy's first quote and all of Schlozman's I-don't-recalls (can we just start calling them IDRs now?). And that is his real voice, by the way.
One thing Schlozman did recall quite clearly and confidently was Craig Donsanto of the DOJ's Election Crimes unit giving him the go-ahead to press voter-fraud charges against ACORN right before the 2006 election, which is quite surprising, considering that Donsanto was the author of the DOJ policy against prosecuting voter fraud cases right before an election. I suppose it's possible that Leahy might not think to call Donsanto in as a witness, but I sure wouldn't want to bet my job or my freedom on that.
But while Mr. Schlozman certainly did a fine job of upholding the Bush DOJ's core values of forgetting and dissembling, his boss just refuses to be outdone. Think Progress makes a very interesting and significant "catch" regarding Gonzo's press conference today. First, they remind us about James Comey's testimony about disagreement within the DOJ on Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. When Gonzo testified (under oath) about that wiretapping program last year, he said:
There has not been any serious disagreement, including — and I think this is accurate — there has not been any serious disagreement about the program that the president has confirmed. There have been disagreements about other matters regarding operations, which I cannot get into.
Think Progress further reminds us:
Last month, Gonzales refused to retract his original testimony, raising “fresh questions about the nature of the classified dispute” to which Comey referred. Center for American Progress senior fellow Peter Swire noted that Gonzales’ refusal to revise his testimony either confirmed that Gonzales had “made serious misstatements under oath” or that senior Justice Department officials were, in effect, “confirming that other ‘programs’ exist for domestic spying."
And then, the kicker, from the press conference:
QUESTION: Mr. Attorney General, last month, Jim Comey testified about a visit you and Andy Card made to John Ashcroft’s hospital bed. Can you tell us your side of the story? Why were you there? And did Mr. Comey testify truthfully about it? Did he remember it correctly?
GONZALES: Mr. Comey’s testimony related to a highly classified program which the president confirmed to the American people sometime ago. And, because it’s a highly classified program, I’m not going to comment on his testimony.
Wow. Gonzo is so forgetful, he can't even keep his own story straight. Or maybe Comey was lying about there being disagreement over the program the president confirmed, and totally made up that whole Ashcroft hospital visit episode. Yeah, that's probably it.
I think it's about time for Dubya to tell us again how much confidence he has in what a great job Gonzo is doing.