Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Schooling Effect

Michelle Malking points to the video of Chris Matthew schooling Pete Williams. And the salutary effect this had on him. I saw that interview and also another one, where Pete Williams made the same point to Keith Obermann who was also taken aback.
There does appear to be something here where both deputy AG Comey and AG Ashcroft were concerned about technical aspects of it and concerned about how it was being carried out--the sort of pretext that the NSA needed to start monitoring someone.
But once those things were worked out, my understanding is from talking to current and former Justice Department officials that they then agreed to the program and one former associate of the deputy attorney general's said today that at one point Comey was among those officials urging the NY Times not to run the story, that he ultimately accepted the legal basis for the program after his initial objections were resolved.
Matthews, by the bye, also had two lawyers (whose names escape me at the moment and is not yet up on transcript) on his show, one of them Democrat, who argued that in time of war you lose some civil liberties, because in that case, staying alive is considered to be the greater value.

Like his response to Pete Williams, he had no clever comebacks to these men either. They stymied him, so to speak.

And I believe that Comey himself was on the O'Reilly Factor - but the transcript of the show is not there yet. He made the same point that Williams did - that once the law had been signed into effect after his judicial checks had gone through - that he believed it was legal and that he was one of the men urging the NYTimes not to publish the leak because of the danger it would do national security.

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