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Blame the Bloggers

Ever since it was revealed that President Bush had ordered the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless surveillance inside the US, one charge that was constantly leveled at those who questioned the practice was that they opposed spying on terrorists altogether. Leaving aside for the moment what a ridicules accusation that is to make, there is also the fact that no one was actually advocating that position. But as we have come to expect from the Bushies, little things like facts don't get in the way when there's an election to be won.

During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Gonzales was asked some pointed questions about those who supposedly were opposed to spying on terrorists.
Feingold: Do you know of any one in the country who opposed eavesdropping on terrorists?”

Gonzales: Sure, if you look at blogs today, there is a lot of concern about all types of eavesdropping, who don’t want us eavesdropping at all.

Feingold: Do you know anyone in government who ever took that position?

Gonzales: No, but that is not what I said.

Feingold: It is a disgrace and disservice to your office and the President to have accused people on this Committee of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I didn’t have you in mind or anyone on the Committee when I referred to people who oppose eavesdropping on terrorists. Perish the thought.

Feingold: Oh, well it’s nice that you didn’t have us “in your mind” when making those accusations, but given that you and the President were running around the country accusing people of opposing eavesdropping on terrorists in the middle of an election, the fact that you didn’t have Congressional Democrats in “mind” isn’t significant. Your intent was to make people think that anyone who opposed the “TSP” did not want to eavesdrop on terrorists, even though that was false. No Democrats oppose eavesdropping on terrorists.

Gonzales: I wasn’t referring to Democrats.

Of course as some note, while Gonzales may have been hesitant to refer to the Democrats in such terms, the President apparently had no such qualms.