The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, February 06, 2006  

A Special Type of Gall

It was painful, that's really the only word, to read and hear today's media coverage of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales trying, without benefit of having been sworn beforehand, to defend before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Bush administration's secret, and so obviously illegal, warrant-free domestic wiretapping program. (See, among many others, "Defense of Eavesdropping Is Met With Skepticism in Senate," by David Stout in the New York Times, and "Gonzales Defends Legality of Surveillance," by William Branigin in the Washington Post.)

There's some special type of gall at work when the attorney general asserted media accounts about the program have been "in almost every case, in one way or another, misinformed, confused or wrong," without explaining how so, and, best I can tell, not having been asked to explain how so.

Even more painful was hearing Republican senators falling all over themselves and each other to defend the White House and the Justice Department, with Sens. John Cronyn (Texas) and Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), happily taking the booby prizes.

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