Did Gonzales Mislead Congress on NSA Surveillance Program?

TPMmuckraker writes:

Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) have put out a statement questioning the legality of the program. Their statement contains this: "when the Attorney General was forced to testify before the House Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago, he misled the Committee about the existence of the program."

They are referring to Gonzales' April 6 hearing testimony (pdf) and his answers to questions posed by Rep. Gerald Nadler.

NADLER: Number two, can you assure us that there is no warrantless surveillance of calls between two Americans within the United States?

GONZALES: That is not what the president has authorized.

NADLER: Can you assure us that it's not being done?

GONZALES: As I indicated in response to an earlier question, no technology is perfect.


GONZALES: We do have minimization procedures in place...

NADLER: But you're not doing that deliberately?

GONZALES: That is correct.

More reactions:

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  • Misleading. Im not sure what that means by Misleading congress. It's not like they all go to work at the same time.

    By the standards of this administration, he didn't even misspeak. I guarantee you they'll say that "surveillance" isn't the same as what USA Today uncovered. Of course, this doesn't mean there's not more conventional surveillance (as with "international" calls) going on that hasn't been uncovered.

    I guarantee you they'll say that "surveillance" isn't the same as what USA Today uncovered. Gives new meaning to, "Depends on what the meaning of is, is," doesn't it? Let's not forget what else is going on with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast concerning Net Neutrality. Wouldn't be hard to jump to the conclusion that big promises were made, whether they were or not. As Atrios says, "These are the companies we're supposed to trust to discriminate between different content on the internet? The ones who illegally do the government's bidding?" He quotes and links to Begala today on CNN.

    Re: Did Gonzales Mislead Congress on NSA Surveilla (none / 0) (#4)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu May 11, 2006 at 04:40:56 PM EST
    As I recall, he wasn't put under oath, because Arlen (who is the only thing standing between us and dicatatorship sayeth Jack Cafferty ) said it wasn't necessary because it is a crime to lie to congress. Apparently he didn't understand that willingess to commit a crime is a prerequisite to being a member of this White House Crime Family (see Jonathon Turley's appearance on Countdown last night for details)

    Re: Did Gonzales Mislead Congress on NSA Surveilla (none / 0) (#5)
    by Sailor on Thu May 11, 2006 at 07:01:45 PM EST
    Did Gonzales Mislead Congress on NSA Surveillance Program?
    Short answer: Duh!!!

    Re: Did Gonzales Mislead Congress on NSA Surveilla (none / 0) (#6)
    by orionATL on Thu May 11, 2006 at 07:58:44 PM EST
    molly bloom has the key fact. gonzales was NOT sworn in. chairman specter (R-Pa)plays american citizens for suckers over and over. and as long as we're talking about swearing in, neither were the oil company presidents sworn in when they testified before the house of reps some time ago. will they be sworn in this time? how is all this arranged? what a neat way for congress to invite lying or even to authorize a lie.

    I don't think "mislead" is the appropriate verb here. Did he not disclose the program? Yes. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. If the program was classified, do we really expect the AG (not just this one, any AG) to come out in open session and explain in detail a classified surveillance program?