John Solomon, the Charlie Brown of Gotcha! journalism, may have defied the odds and made contact with the football.
As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers. “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse,” Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.
Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Bam! Either AG Gonzales truly sucks at his job (how could he not read those critical reports?), or else Solomon has him dead to rights. Oh. Crap.
For what it’s worth, Solomon’s zinger – the Attorney General lied to Congress! – has already been scooped (turns out that he did approve illegal wiretapping as WH counsel). Twice (all USA appointees would be Senate confirmed. sike!). No, three times (WH was
not involved in USA firing decisions). The great rightwing moralists who lapsed into seizures every time Drudge implied that the Clintons misused their Christmas card list still don’t care.
Completely off topic and weird, but I tuned into the 700 Club this morning (don’t ask) and it began with a news story about Iraq. I thought, well, this should be entertaining! I then sat stunned for the duration of the story as I watched some of the most balanced reporting on Iraq that I’ve seen on television. I’m still not sure what to make of the whole thing.
This deserves some kind of an award.
I don’t believe it; John Solomon’s reporting on this might just be the first actual evidence that Alberto Gonzales might not be guilty of something.
However, past that, what this actually means is actually pretty interesting–whoever has been feeding Solomon his smear pieces lo these many years appears to have switched from targeting the Clintons, Harry Reid, John Edwards, John Kerry, etc., and is now instead going after the Republican Attorney General. So why the switch in focus, and why now? Is AG AG getting dumped, or is he being used as a heat shield yet again to cover for something else, or both?
I’ve noticed that too. My take on it is that Robertson (and therefore the show) is a critic of the inept management of the war, and thus does not sugarcoat the problems. However, I don’t know what his original stance was on the war (to go in, or not?) My impression was that he was fer it, but I haven’t any cites to back that up.
This may be an inspiration to other dumb-ass reporters out there. See, if you just do the work and observe the rules of Journalism 101, you can actually come up with a story that means something!
Imagine if this caught on across the whole of cable news?
Four counts of lying to Congress. Sounds like it’s time to start impeachment proceedings against Gonzales.
On the merits, is there any reason not to? On the politics, it’s a little more tricky. You do need 67 votes to convict in the Senate which would be an uphill battle, though e.g. all the Democrats + the Republican Senators who are up for reelection in 2008 would be enough to do it. But even if Gonzales doesn’t resign first and it fails in the Senate, it probably still serves to further undercut the Bush administration and its backers. In retrospect, the Clinton impeachment actually worked out for the Republicans as without it Gore would likely have won in 2000. And impeachment of Gonzales would be more popular with the American people if not the punditocracy.
But John Edwards got a $1.3 billion haircut last fall. Probably to win over the gays.
Not only that, but wait for the 6-part expose on Gonzales only leaving 12% gratuities at IHOP.
That’s not entirely fair. He also picks up the entire bill for making outgoing calls while warrantlessly wiretapping.
Norby’s IHOP bill has the 15% gratuity already added in because, y’know, he eats enough for six…
I heard that the NYT is about to do an expose on how Gonzo ALSO lied when he bought beer 3 weeks from his 21st, how he completely fabricated a statement about how nice his wife’s new ugly-ass shirt looked, and just totally fibbed about the lack of underproofing on his bitchin’ ’78 Camero when he traded it in for a ’82 Mercury Lynx.
Why don’t we ever hear NYT stories about all the times Gonzo didn’t lie?
This is utterly preposterous. The reports in question detailed minor technical problems with the oversight of the NSL program and recommended methods for correcting these problems. If anything they showed an overabundance of concern about privacy issues. Typical leftist Bush/Gonzales Distortion Syndrome.
Tim — this is a great example of a classic logical fallacy called the “false dichotomy”.
Glad to see it’s not just me.
Orin Kerr makes a good case that Solomon missed the football once again. Who knew, his hackery is bipartisan.
Re my above comment: Though see ATRGeek’s comment at 7.12.2007 8:28am that provides a partial rebuttal of Orin Kerr’s rebuttal of Solomon.
Doesn’t anyone want to bite and comment on impeachment for Gonzales?