As suspected by everyone with two brain cells knocking together, providing the critical thinking ability that thwarts blind allegiance to Dear Leader, the administration’s domestic spying program may have been more extensive than its architects previously admitted.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales appeared to suggest yesterday that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance operations may extend beyond the outlines that the president acknowledged in mid-December.

In a letter yesterday to senators in which he asked to clarify his Feb. 6 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales also seemed to imply that the administration's original legal justification for the program was not as clear-cut as he indicated three weeks ago.
Oh, Gonzo. You trickster.

Anonymous officials would like us to avoid jumping to any conclusions, however. Gonzo’s letter “should not be taken or construed to be talking about anything other than” the NSA program “as described by the president.”

I love that term. “As described by the president.” Not as the NSA program actually is, but how it is described by the president. The Heretik loves that term, too.

“As described by the president is a curious phrase. Also intriguing has been the seemingly evolving rationales the administration has offered for justifying spying. Gonzales has noticed that people have noticed.

On Feb. 6, Gonzales testified that the Justice Department considered the use-of-force vote as a legal green light for the wiretapping “before the program actually commenced.”

But in yesterday’s letter, he wrote, “these statements may give the misimpression that the Department’s legal analysis has been static over time.”
A misimpression is a characterization you offer when reality is pressing upon you. What we most likely will find out soon enough is the Bush administration has all along based its arguments on the arguments of John Yoo, specifically in the memo of September 25, 2001. The president’s power is presumed.

The Unitary Executive: At Your In His Service

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