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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Gonzales and Card put the screws on John Ashcroft while he's in the ICU

Gonzales and Card put the screws on John Ashcroft while he's in the ICU
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subego
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May 16, 2007, 07:54 AM
 
Well, if you haven't seen the story, it's pretty much what the title says.

Back in 2004 the the Justice Department decided not to certify an unnamed "classified program", which "was renewed on a regular basis, and required signature by the attorney general certifying to its legality."

Ashcroft was in the ICU and the White House sent over Gonzales and Card to pressure him into certifying it. The Deputy (and acting) AG, James Comey, went batshit. Comey got there before Gonzales and Card, and had the Director of the FBI tell the agents there to make sure he wasn't removed from the room for any reason.

When Gonzales and Card get there, Ashcroft tells them off and finishes with "But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general. There is the attorney general", pointing at Comey. Gonzales and Card leave without even acknowledging him.

Card calls Comey a bit later and asks him to come to the White House, Comey tells Card: "After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness. And I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States."

[Edit: My apologies. I dropped the ball with the sentence that follows this edit. I was tired and had already spent way too much time trying to write what came previously in an engaging and brief manner. Apparently, a whole mess of people were set to resign over this, Comey says there were indications that Ashcroft would resign too, but was asked to wait so everyone could resign en masse. During this time, Bush met with Comey and the Director of the FBI. Bush's directive (to FBI Director Mueller, who passed it along to Comey) was to "do the right thing". So the next couple of weeks were spent making the program up to DOJ snuff, and the resignations were averted. Again, my apologies for some weak journalism here]

The next day, the program is renewed without the Justice Department's approval, the Madrid bombings happened and Comey wrote his letter of resignation. He was convinced to stay on until Ashcroft left.

Here's the transcript of Comey's testimony.


Can someone spin this for me?

I don't know what freaks me out more, the parallels between the White House and a mafia family, or the parallels between the White House and a badly run mafia family. WTF were they thinking?
( Last edited by subego; May 18, 2007 at 02:43 PM. )
     
Dork.
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May 16, 2007, 08:12 AM
 
Here's something to consider: If someone would have told you before the 2004 election that Ashcroft would resign before Bush's next term, but the guy who replaced him would be even worse, would you have believed him?

I know my opinion of Ashcroft has changed since he left office.
     
subego  (op)
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May 16, 2007, 08:26 AM
 
Yeah.

Didn't really think the words John Ashcroft, champion of civil liberties, were going to fit together.

Just as an added note, the DOJ was allowed to revise the program so that it became legal, so you can score one for Bush on making the right call.
     
moodymonster
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May 17, 2007, 06:56 AM
 
     
subego  (op)
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May 18, 2007, 02:52 PM
 
I edited the OP, since I think I sort of whiffed things at the end.

I'm still waiting for some spin though, or at least a little WTF?

It's not bothering people that the guy who tried to get Ashcroft to subvert the Constitution is now in charge?

I think Jon Stewart accurately captured the gravity of the situation, at the end of his round of questioning, Schumer said that Comey's testimony "makes you almost gulp".

Stewart's response was along the lines of "makes you almost gulp? What has to happen to actually make you gulp? Does he have to sodomize the Declaration of Independence in front of you?"
     
TheWOAT
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May 18, 2007, 04:32 PM
 
WTF indeed. Maybe there is no way to spin this, a knuckleball of a story.
     
wolfen
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May 18, 2007, 04:42 PM
 
I miss the good old days with Ashcroft.

There. Now you know we're in Hell.
Do you want forgiveness or respect?
     
subego  (op)
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May 18, 2007, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by wolfen View Post
There. Now you know we're in Hell.



     
   
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