Getting With The Programs

by digby

Glenn Greenwald clears up the confusion about the "other intelligence activities" vs "the program the president has confirmed" in Gonzales' testimony yesterday.

Yes there was additional "intelligence activity" besides what we know was in the so-called TSA. Those activities were what Comey and Ashcroft refused to sign off on when the "TSA" came up for reauthorization. Gonzales is making a cute distinction between "the program" the president has confirmed and the illegal parts of that program he was forced to abandon.

Read Greenwald's whole piece because he nails it down much, much better than I keep trying to do. Comey was careful in his testimony, but he wasn't talking about a completely different program. He was talking about the whole ugly, illegal mess that was the TSA before they reined it in. Gonzales, on the other hand, is now pretending that the "other intelligence activities" were outside the program at the time of the hospital assault.

Of course, the bigger question remains: Just what in the hell was so bad in that program that half the DOJ threatened to resign if it wasn't stopped?

Update: And I should be clear: this does not preclude the fact that there were other programs. Keep in mind that we are dealing here with the Department of Justice, which obviously had at least a few people who remained concerned with the constitution. The bowels of Rumsfeld's Pentagon and certain quarters of the intelligence community are even less scrupulous than Gonzo and Yoo.