President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping

President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping

President Bush intervened in March 2004 to avert a crisis over the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program after Attorney General John Ashcroft, Director Robert S. Mueller III of the F.B.I. and other senior Justice Department aides all threatened to resign, a former deputy attorney general testified Tuesday.

Mr. Comey, the former No. 2 official in the Justice Department, said the crisis began when he refused to sign a presidential order reauthorizing the program, which allowed monitoring of international telephone calls and e-mail of people inside the United States who were suspected of having terrorist ties.

Mr. Comey said that on the evening of March 10, 2004, Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., then Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, tried to bypass him by secretly visiting Mr. Ashcroft. Mr. Ashcroft was extremely ill and disoriented…

…Mr. Gonzales began to explain to Mr. Ashcroft why they were there. Mr. Comey said Mr. Ashcroft rose weakly from his hospital bed, but in strong and unequivocal terms, refused to approve the eavesdropping program.

see, the shrub can compromise. only after nefarious measures fall flat on their faces and mass resignations are threatened, tho.

If even Ashcroft says you’re over-reaching, then I think that’s a sign you’ve gone too far.

Not to mention the whole end-around trickery of trying to get a signature from an extremely ill man. I’ve been disappointed by so much of what Bush has done that I didn’t think I’d be able to ever muster outrage any more. Reading the article proved me wrong.

It makes the shrub sound like he agrees with the last person he talked to, and that person is usually Cheney/Rove. I’m thinking Chauncy Gardner.