Gonzales refers back to the Hamdi decision, making an end around argument that the court said Congress had authorized the President to hold a U.S. citizen as an enemy combatant. And what's a little wiretapping compared to tossing somebody in jail?
Leahy tries to get a yes/no answer as to whether the AUMF allows the executive branch to open mail.
He doesn’t get a yes/no answer, and makes note of the fact he hasn't.
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) steps up to the plate. He starts out citing case law that has upheld executive authority to engage in warrantless searches.
Gonzales says yes, warrantless searches as consistent with the Fourth Amendment are allowed.
Warrantless searches consistent with the Fourth Amendment?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Are they ever going to get to where Gonzales explains how a warrantless search can be consistent with this Amendment?
Hatch is in the bag. He's doing nothing more than feeding Gonzales straight lines, citing constitutional executive powers that don't appear in the Constitution and authorities granted by the AUMF that the AUMF doesn't mention.
Kennedy's been talking for about five minutes now. I'm still not sure what he's getting at.
Kennedy's time is up. Gonzales doesn't seem to be sure what he's getting at either, and I don't blame him.
They argue over whether to take a break. They take one.
"Pom Pom" Jeff Sessions outside the chambers on CSPAN. Today, there are 3,000 Americans who have no civil rights because they were killed on 9/11. He trots out a relative of a 9/11 victim (Debra Burlingame) who wants the spying program to continue.
I’m frankly shocked that C-SPAN would air this kind of unpaid staged political event.
Now they're giving Sessions exclusive time to push the propaganda.
Leahy had something to say, but they cut him off.
Incredible. Is there any journalistic integrity left in the broadcast media?
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) takes the megaphone. Have they caught the guy who leaked the program yet? All this hoopla over spying is the media's fault. If the administration has done something wrong, it's Congress's fault for allowing it to happen. If the New York Times hadn't broken the story, nobody in Congress would have had a problem with any of the domestic spying. Of course none of this is Grassley's fault because he wasn't privy to all the White House briefings.
9/11… 9/11… 9/11… Madrid, London, Bali…
The President's determined not to let this happen again. The NSA program is a matter of life or death for Americans.
This hearing is turning into the worst political joke I've heard in over a decade.
Joe Biden (D-Deleware) takes the stage. Here's hoping he's more coherent than he was during the Alito hearings.
He asks how we'll know the war on terror is over.
Gonzales says when al Qaeda is destroyed, certainly not today.
Biden points out there is no way to clearly define the end of the war.
Okay, out come the six shooters. Gonzales just challenged Biden (and Congress) to go right ahead and pass laws that limit the President's powers.
That's the real hole card in this particular poker game. The admin's daring Congress to limit its power, knowing they're afraid of who will take the blame if another 9/11 style attack takes place afterwards.
Three strikes, Biden's out. He didn't even manage to foul one off.