18 July 2006

L'Etat c'est moi

Looks like "The Decider" is really the Dictator-in-chief.
Bush blocked eavesdropping program probe

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush personally blocked a Justice Department investigation of the anti-terror eavesdropping program that intercepts Americans' international calls and e-mails, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday.

Bush refused to grant security clearances for department investigators who were looking into the role Justice lawyers played in crafting the program, under which the National Security Agency listens in on telephone calls and reads e-mail without court approval, Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Without access to the sensitive program, the department's Office of Professional Responsibility closed its investigation in April.

"It was highly classified, very important and many other lawyers had access. Why not OPR?" Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the committee chairman, asked Gonzales.

"The president of the United States makes the decision," Gonzales replied.
Once again, El Presidente sees an opportunity to turn our democracy into a banana republic and wastes no time in seizing it. Others had access to the information. But those with an oversight role? Kneecapped at the president's say-so. It really couldn't be more obvious if he were strutting about in cavalry pants with a chestful of fictional medals and ribbons. And his codpiece, of course.

When it comes right down to it, though, it was crystal clear from the beginning: the focus of the Boy King's ire was the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Everyone knows, there is no responsibility at BushCo.

For those with strong stomachs, here's Abu Gonzales giving the lowdown on his favorite lil' despot:
SPECTER: Now when you had the first line of review, Mr. Attorney General, by OPR, why wasn’t OPR given clearance as so many other lawyers in the Department of Justice were given clearance?

GONZALES: Mr. Chairman, you and I had lunch several weeks ago, and we had a discussion about this. And during this lunch, I did inform you that the terrorist surveillance program is a highly-classified program. It’s a very important program for the national security of this country –

SPECTER: Highly-classified, very important, many other lawyers in the Justice Department had clearance. Why not OPR?

GONZALES: And the President of the United States ultimately makes decisions about who ultimately is given access –

SPECTER: Did the President make the decision not to clear OPR?

GONZALES: As with all decisions that are non-operational in terms of who has access to the program, the President of the United States makes the decision because this is such an important program –

SPECTER: I want to move on to another subject. The President makes the decision and that’s that.

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