Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has been under intense pressure from the Democratically controlled Congress, and has been accused of a myriad of crimes.

For the most part I consider the vast majority of these investigations to be nothing more than political theater committed by a Democrat controlled Congress looking for political points in the upcoming Presidential elections.

One of the allegations made by the Democrats relates to an incident that took place when John Ashcroft was acting Attorney General and Alberto Gonzales was White House Council.

Allegedly when John Ashcroft was in the hospital recovering from gallbladder surgery, Gonzales came to his hospital room and tried to get him to sign-off on the recently revealed “Terrorist Surveillance Program” conducted by the NSA.

The Democrats have charged that Ashcroft was in no position to sign-off on such a complicated program in his weakened state. Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ashcroft was “lucid” and “did most of the talking” during the brief visit.

I was willing to give the Attorney General the benefit of the doubt about pretty much everything. I personally have no problem with the NSA program or any other aggressive action the Bush Administration has taken to fight the war on terror.

That said, the article I read in the Washington Post this morning I found to be a little unsettling. FBI Director Robert Mueller took notes about his meeting with Ashcroft just minutes after the Alberto Gonzales left his hospital room.

Mueller’s notes give a drastically different account of Ashcroft’s condition among other things. On the night in question Mueller writes:

“Saw AG” “Janet Ashcroft in the room. AG in chair; is feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed.”

The notes also recall that then Deputy Attorney General James Comey was so concerned about White House aides pressuring Ashcroft while he was ill that he asked Mueller to prevent anyone except family from being allowed to visit Ashcroft, because “he was in no condition to decide issues.”

I’m not sure what all this means, but I have to admit I really do find it disturbing. I hope the Attorney General isn’t guilty of doing anything “shady” as it relates to this issue.

Again, I’m supportive of the program but I find it troubling that Gonzales possibly took advantage of a hospitalized Ashcroft to get approval for the President’s Program.

In the end Ashcroft refused to reinstate the program and President Bush authorized it to continue anyway, which is what he should have done in the first place.

Most people consider part of the President’s inherent powers is the ability to authorize pretty much anything in the interest of National Security.

So just using that power to begin with rather than sending Gonzales to Ashcroft’s bedside at night in a very “Nixonian” manner would have been the smarter thing to do.

Written By Chris Jones

Chris is the Editor-In-Chief of The Hot Joints

E-Mail Chris at webmaster@thehotjoints.com

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