A play in honor of the performances this morning by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his many appearances on the talking head circuit (Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, etc., etc.).
JIMMINY: Why bother going around the FISA law anyway? You could already do an emergency wiretap or surveillance at any time, and get a judge to okay it after the fact. You had everything you needed with the FISA laws. What were you spying on that you didn't want the FISA courts to know about?
GONZALES: You wound me, Jimminy. This was necessary for national security. Don't you want this nation to be safe? Have a gumdrop.
JIMMINY: Stop trying to divert me with gumdrops. Let's get down to the real business. What authority did you rely on in order to justify spying on Americans without a warrant, as required by the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and numerous criminal laws and FISA?
GONZALES: Well, Congress gave us the authority in the 2001 Afghanistan resolution.
JIMMINY: No, they didn't. There is no provision for eavesdropping or any other increased domestic surveillance in the resolution that I could find when I re-read it this morning in preparation for this interview.
GONZALES: Oh, it contains provisions. And they trump the 1978 FISA laws. Trust me on this.
JIMMINY: I'm sorry, but I see no specific legal authorization in the 2001 Afghan war resolution as passed by Congress. Wouldn't you say this is more an illegal maneuver by the President, who took advantage of the spirit of bipartisanship that existed in the Congress after 9/11 to increase his power? Oh, and that shirt looks lovely with your complexion. A truly good choice by someone on your staff. Kudos.
GONZALES: Oh, did you hear me say the Afghanistan resolution? You should look into the hearing problem. What I said was that the right to do this is inherent in the war powers of the executive as vested in the Constitution. Yeah, that's the ticket.
JIMMINY: Um. No. That's also wrong.
GONZALES: Look, over there. It's a candy bar!
JIMMINY: What? Where? Oh, stop that. Seriously, Alberto, what's your authority for this?
GONZALES: Have I mentioned that the President is Commander in Chief? Yeah, that's the ticket. It's inherent in his military powers as commander.
JIMMINY: So, you are saying the President has the authority to command military forces to take action against citizens in our own country, without following the laws of our nation, whenever he pleases? That's your justification?
GONZALES: Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.
JIMMINY: What about posse comitatus?
GONZALES: We don't use that kind of language in this White House.
JIMMINY: Well, thank you for being here, Alberto. Up next: How to decorate
And later, the Preznit will be holding a press conference around 10:30 am ET. Should be a lovely morning of dodge and weave.