While reading yet another
use of the word "technically" in an attempt by a White House insider to defend Gonzales,
Since that controversy was technically about the data mining, however, Gonzales could claim there was not an internal argument about the surveillance itself.
I got to thinking back to how this whole examination of Gonzales began. It really began on Talking Points Memo
over a question on the case of Brent Wilkes and the seemingly inexplicable firing of US Attorney Carol Lam.
In the very early days, not really knowing what it had, TPM kept this story alive by slowly collecting small, unconnected mentions of other US Attoney firings from articles across the country. The list slowly built, one, then two, then three....
It really wasn't until New Mexico's David Iglesias got included on the list and began talking that things really got going. A local story in a New Mexico paper outlined Iglesias' claims of interference by local New Mexican politicians in a voter fraud case. This was picked up and promoted by TPM, and then by other blogs, and led major media beginning to look into the firings.
From that, there grew Congressional hearings, met with dissembling by by the Justice Dept, compounded by more media coverage, leading to more hearings, leading to more "dissembling" until the controversy broadened into all the other areas we're hearing about today.
I sincerely doubt that we would be where we are without the early "carrying" of the the US Attoneys story by TPM.
One medium sized blog, asking questions about the possibility of one political firing, led to an entire administration under threat with inquiries ranging from "voter fraud" to Hatch Act violations, to violation of FISA laws, to possible perjury charges and impeachment against an Attorney General.
One blog, following its questions...... and now we're seeing history.
I see this as a very interesting lesson in "the new media."
Look at today's entrant on the front page of the Washington Post, "Gonzales's Truthfulness Long Disputed
," (or perhaps the NYTimes board editorial yesterday endorsing the impeachment of the Attorney General of the United States
,) and take a minute to appreciate how we got here.
It's a new media world.
(PS. As a "living" example of this, take a look at this TPM post today
which reaches into that NYTimes editorial to pull this out.
Unwilling to accept that conclusion, Vice President Dick Cheney sent Mr. Gonzales and another official to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital room to get him to approve the wiretapping.
There may be nothing here, I don't know, but this tidbit could have easily passed below the radar, and with this emphasis, it will prompt questions to the administration over what could be a very salient point to the Ashcroft hospital visit.)