Washington D.C.--No longer displaying his usual arrogance before Congress, ostensible Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is turning-over what are purported to be key-documents of the program. Are they everything we need to know? Doubtful. The papers are being forwarded to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the two highest-ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The documents won't be made public (much to the chagrin of the ACLU), but we can rest-assured that Senator Leahy will have a lot to say about their contents, as will Arlen Specter. But will they give an accurate overview of the program? This isn't likely based on past-actions by the Bush administration--even recent ones.
But will it be dueling banjo time on the hill? Specter's ears are more jug-like, so I guess we know which character he is from Deliverance... The question will be interpretation, with a radically-divergent viewpoint based on the threats caused to the GOP by the Bush administration. Gonzales has claimed that Bush administration has never attempted to withhold the information, a patent lie:
"The records will be given to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) who two weeks ago lambasted Gonzales for refusing to turn over documents that even the FISA Court's presiding judge had no objection to releasing." (AP, 01.31.2007)And so, there it is. Even the foot-dragging Arlen Specter is calling Gonzales and the Bush administration liars. This would be accurate, and taking them at their word isn't going to work. Expect some stunning revelations that could shake the very foundations of our political culture, just as they did with Watergate--only worse. The good thing is, we know about this program, and sunlight is the best disinfectant.