Updated: Illegal Spying Hearings

Glenn Greenwald is liveblogging the hearings [HERE].

For whatever the reason (ahem), Alberto Gonzales was not sworn in when he gave his testimony. This is the way I'd like to have it should I ever be in court. I mean, why swear when you don't have to?

Greenwald praises Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold's reaction: "Feingold is doing exactly what he should be doing - creating a hostile and confrontational atmosphere, rather than a boringly congenial one where the Democrats meekly accept everything (see the Alito hearings). Feingold has been seriously heroic on several of these issues, and it is excellent to see him continuing that right from the beginning at these hearings."

After disabusing readers of the notion that Committee Chairman Arlen Specter might hold Gonzales's feet to the fire, Greewald nails not only Gonzales' attitude on the stand, but also the spiritual crisis facing the American experiment as a result of the right wing radicals in power:

"Of course Gonzales begins his Opening Statement by quoting Osama bin Laden and Zawahri. We used to quote Madison, Jefferson and Lincoln to decide what the principles of our Government are going to be. Now we quote Al Qaeda. The Administration wants Al Qaeda and its speeches to dictate the type of Government we have. It is the centerpiece of everything they do and say."


Five Questions for Gonzales

You know, you really should be careful to not read this blog too much or consider its validity.

That's my impressionistic take on a comment from today's congressional hearings on the constitutionality of warrantless spying by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions: "We've gotta be careful that we don't become Congressional-centric." Yeah, because that's really a danger right now.

Just as Alberto Gonzales questions the constitutionality of congress in today's hearings, "Can the Congress question the President's right to protect the Country during wartime?" what better time to post Glenn Greenwald's five questions that should be asked (for Greenwald's article on what's at stake in the hearings, go HERE):

Question 1
In a September 25, 2001 Memorandum Opinion addressed to the Deputy Counsel to the President, John C. Yoo, then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote (emphasis added):

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