While the Bush administration offered to allow congress to speak to White House officials without transcription and without taking the oath, congress actually wanted to accomplish something.
A congressional subcommittee Wednesday put itself on a collision course with the White House over the firing of U.S. attorneys, while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under siege for his handling of the dismissals, took steps to repair his image.
Over Republican objections, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law authorized subpoenas for documents and testimony from top Justice Department and White House aides including political strategist Karl Rove. It seemed likely the next act in the political drama would be a separate vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve a second set of subpoenas for Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and William Kelley, who was Miers' deputy.
The disclosures about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year have triggered allegations by Democrats that the White House and Justice Department conspired to replace the prosecutors for political reasons. The Justice Department denies that, saying the dismissals were based on performance issues.
Here's my question; if these subpoenas go forward, can we waterboard Karl Rove? What about Harriet Miers and William Kelly? If the evidence extracted from these aggressive interrogation techniques calls for it, can we waterboard Alberto Gonzales?
After all, it was Gonzales who defined torture for the administration and waterboarding ain't it. It'd kind of be justice. And everyone knows that this torture-that's-not-torture turns a person into a truth telling machine, totally incapable of lying. It may be necessary.
After all, there are eighteen days of missing emails in documents released by the White House. What's in those?
As this goes on, the White House looks worse and worse. Bush is used to playing from a position of strength, an advantage he no longer has. And it shows. The figurehead is still out there playing the bully, but no one's buying Bush bluster anymore. This is all getting away from him and there's nothing he or his crack team of worldbuilding visionaries can do about it.
Bush claims that Gonzales has his support:
President Bush sent a powerful message of support Tuesday for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, calling his longtime friend to express unwavering support in the face of calls for his resignation.
The White House also denied reports that it was looking for possible successors for Gonzales. "Those rumors are untrue," White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.
"The president reaffirmed his strong backing of the attorney general and his support for him," Perino said. "The president called him to reaffirm his support."
But when Gonzales is spilling his guts on the waterboard, I wonder how supportive Bush would be.
Of course, I'm only kidding. I'd never seriously suggest that congress waterboard Rove, Miers, Kelly, and Gonzales. We all know (well, with the exception of Bush and the aforementioned potential waterboardees) that torture doesn't work. You may be able to make someone talk, but you can't be certain that what they say is the truth. Waterboarding, in the end, wouldn't work.
That's why I say we use stress positions.