Friday, May 18, 2007

An orange jumpsuit for the AG?

By Creature

Yesterday, conservatives were trying to make the case that there is "no there there" when it came to Alberto Gonzales' late night, DOJ disrespecting trip to the sick-bed of his predecessor, John Ashcroft. Well, today, Time magazine takes a look at the "there" in "no there there" and finds that, in fact, there may have been a law broken.

Ashcroft bluntly rebuffed Gonzales, but Comey's unwillingness publicly to say what Gonzales said in the hospital room has raised questions about whether Gonzales may have violated executive branch rules regarding the handling of highly classified information, and possibly the law preventing intentional disclosure of national secrets. [...]

The law controlling the unwarranted disclosure of classified information that has been gained through electronic surveillance is particularly strict. In the past, everyone from low-level officers in the armed forces to sitting Senators have been investigated by the Justice department for the intentional disclosure of such information. The penalty for "knowingly and willfully" disclosing information "concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States" carries a penalty up to 10 years in prison under U.S. law.

Sounds like the "no there there" conservatives will be in need of a new set of talking points. What a waste of paper.

Note: Conservatives only resorted to their claim of no actual wrongdoing as a fall back position after it was discovered that Bill Clinton had never sent his chief counsel to arm-twist a disabled and disoriented Janet Reno.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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