We have again another column from guest blogger Fan Boy, this time talking about Dick Cheney's recently revealed back-room deals to maintain control of this government. I don't think it's going too far to say that Cheney has seized power out of all proportion to his duties as VP.
Vice President “Dick” Cheney has been exposed a little today. In a dramatic written testimony turned over at midnight last night by the former deputy Attorney General James Comey he details the Vice President’s pressure to keep a promotion from taking place.
The American people were generally shocked when the news came out about the DOJ issuing bed side pressure on the then Attorney General John Ashcroft to extend the wire tapping approval given to the Bush administration. Now, we find out that the pressure was not as third party to Ashcroft as we were initially led. We find that the Vice President of the US was bedside issuing pressure as well. This can be summed up to nothing other than a despicable act of desperation by the administration. He was in the hospital!
The pressure on Gonzales came in not promoting Patrick Philbin to principal Deputy Solicitor General. Patrick not given credit in this writing was black listed because he was a party that wrote the review to Ashcroft and Comey that identified why the then current warrantless wire tapping policy would not meet legal scrutiny and the changes needed to make it meet the legal requirements. He helped formed the bullet that shot the warrantless wiretapping story into mainstream American media.
I think this solidifies what most feel is too much power of the current administration in the hallowed halls of justice. We all know Gonzales replaced Ashcroft due to his helping the administration to push through the new warrantless wire tapping procedures. That said, and knowing why Gonzales got the job – why was Gonzales even considering the author of a briefing that felled his predecessor? Maybe it is because the Attorney General knew it was good work regardless of the political ramifications. I think this shows the cunning shrewdness of Gonzales to promote himself ahead of sound legal doctrine.
A lingering poignant set of questions are; if the new program is just making the grade on being legal what did the predecessor look like? Why has it remained classified when the media has printed in detail the current policy? Is the government sure beyond doubt that the old policy is still not in use? I believe the previous program needs to be declassified to gain transparency, accountability, and trust that we have moved forward. Americans deserve the right to know when our government is monitoring us and how. This is not a vague law or liberty it is a constitutional legal right that has been well defined in the Supreme Court.
This along with the reports coming out of the Vice Presidents plan to throw a policy coup to force a military solution with Iran, and the his hand in dealing with the Iraqi PM paint a picture. It is a picture of betrayal against the citizens of the United States in promoting a one sided dictatorship bent on might makes right.
For the reference story: Link
Credit also to NPR morning report 06/07/07 – Specifically that the VP was in the hospital with Ashcroft.