Faux News White House Press Secretary Tony Snow did quite a tap dance today while trying to defend Attorney General Alberto Gonazles. He said that Al Fredo did not lie about his visit to the ailing then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, but he can’t tell us how he didn’t lie because what was spoken about was classified. Huh? If it was classified, then didn’t Al Fredo and then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card break the law when they spoke about classified stuff in an unsecured hospital room? I’m confused, Tony!!
Original DVD cover.
Maybe some quotes straight from Tony will help me understand.
Q On Gonzales, this [then-National Intelligence Director John] Negroponte memo shows an apparent contradiction in what he told the committee two days ago about that briefing at the White House. But yet Gonzales’ spokesman says that what he said on Tuesday was true. How can that be? Can you explain that?
MR. SNOW: Unfortunately we get into areas that you cannot discuss openly. It’s a very complex issue. But the Attorney General was speaking consistently. The President supports him. I think at some point this is going to be something where members are going to have to go behind closed doors and have a fuller discussion of the issues. But I can’t go any further than that.
Q Everyone else says the meeting was about the TSP [Terrorist Surveillance Program]. Negroponte says it, people who were there said it, [then-Acting Attorney General James} Comey said it. How could that not be right?
MR. SNOW: It’s simply more complex than that, and I can’t go into any more detail.
Q Is there another program that existed besides the TSP program?
MR. SNOW: I will repeat myself — it’s more complex, and I cannot go any further than that.
Q Does that mean that members of the Congress are being briefed on something they didn’t realize they were being briefed on? If they’re all describing it in this way –
MR. SNOW: Look, the most important thing to do is, I’ll refer you back to DOJ to going through all this. But there were a series of briefings for a small, restricted number of members of Congress who seem to have differing recollections about what went on. As I’ve told you the last couple of days, I’m not going to try to be the fact witness on this.
A couple of questions later:
Q Tony, if the President can order the U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia not to pursue criminal contempt charges, doesn’t that sort of put him in the position of being able to determine unilaterally what executive privilege is?
MR. SNOW: Well, the President can assert executive privilege, but you’ve misstated the way this works. In fact, the Department of Justice has the responsibility — the Department of Justice has already published an opinion; furthermore, there is a longstanding series of opinions out of the Department of Justice from Democratic and Republican administrations that talk about the inapplicability of criminal contempt of Congress citations when it comes to people asserting executive privilege.
So, number one, the President is not issuing orders; this is something that falls under the purview of the Department of Justice. And number two, legal precedent all points in one way and it would not be the way contemplated by the House Judiciary Committee.
Q The Nixon tapes case, though, presents certain limitations on the President’s assertion of executive privilege, doesn’t it?
MR. SNOW: How on earth are you trying to apply the Nixon’s tapes case here? That seems an awful stretch.
Q I read it in the paper. It sounded logical when I read it.
MR. SNOW: Well, it’s — nice try.
Tony was all over the airwaves defending Al Fredo with the same logic: He didn’t commit perjury. He told the truth about the hospital visit, but I cannot tell you anything about it, because it is classified. The Preznit loves his widdle Gonzy-Wonzy, and the Democrats are doody-heads for trying to get rid of him!! On
Softballs No Balls Hardboiled Hardball, I didn’t hear Chris “Tweety” Matthews ask him if Al Fredo and Card broke the law by speaking about classified information in that setting. Then again, I was so distracted by Tweety salivating and making goo-goo eyes at Tony that I might have missed it.
I wonder how John McCain will take it when he finds out that Tweety is leaving him for Tony. Poor Johnny, if he’s lost Tweety, he might as well hang it all up now.