Yesterday's testimony from former Deputy AG James Comey had some bombshells in it. Cryptic, but telling new info about Chimpy&Co's illegal wiretapping free-for-all. (If you didn't see the C-SPAN broadcast, it's linked here.) Josh Marshall of TPM gives great insight and links with additional commentary by Knowledgeable TPM Reader:
Trust the Washington press corps to lunge for the process story, and ignore the substance.H/T to Lotus for the heads-up.
When the warrantless wiretap surveillance program came up for review in March of 2004, it had been running for two and a half years. We still don't know precisely what form the program took in that period, although some details have been leaked. But we now know, courtesy of Comey, that the program was so odious, so thoroughly at odds with any conception of constitutional liberties, that not a single senior official in the Bush administration's own Department of Justice was willing to sign off on it. In fact, Comey reveals, the entire top echelon of the Justice Department was prepared to resign rather than see the program reauthorized, even if its approval wasn't required. They just didn't want to be part of an administration that was running such a program.
This wasn't an emergency program; more than two years had elapsed, ample time to correct any initial deficiencies. It wasn’t a last minute crisis; Ashcroft and Comey had both been saying, for weeks, that they would withhold
approval. But at the eleventh hour, the President made one final push, dispatching his most senior aides to try to secure approval for a continuation of the program, unaltered.
KagroX of DKOS adds some video and context to the bedside bullying of Ashcroft.