(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)
(Via Politics TV.) I had thought this story about the White House pressuring a sick man to approve their domestic spying program was bad enough when reading about it. That's not to mention the "You mean even Ashcroft wouldn't sign off on this?" angle. However, listening to NPR last night and hearing Comey's voice, I started getting furious. Here's the video.
Glenn Greenwald has two good pieces on this, "Gonzales' yearlong effort to block Comey's testimony" (5/15/07) and "Comey's testimony raises new and vital questions about the NSA scandal" (5/16/07). Hilzoy has a good examination of some of the key testimony in "When Christ Told Us To Visit The Sick In Their Sickrooms, This Is Not What He Meant."
I think at this point we can dispense with the ridiculous fiction that the Bush administration somehow didn't know what it was doing or possesses any innocence whatsoever. They knew what they were doing was illegal, they knew going through the proper process would stymie them, so they used every trick they could and abused their power to try to get what they wanted. They've blocked investigations, prevented oversight and lied to Congress and the American people to try to get away with this. It's a familiar pattern. Still, the conduct described in this testimony isn't just illegal, it's inhuman. The Bushies aren't just bad public officials, they're bad people. We still haven't obtained the full details of the abuses leading to war (we have the broad strokes), but there's ample evidence that the Bush administration are indeed worse than the Nixon crew and they've committed high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats have an obligation not only to manage the country in this moral and managerial vacuum, they have a prosecutorial duty to continue to dig, and build an iron-clad case for impeachment. If nothing else, using the government to achieve something positive and just would make a nice change of pace, don't you think?
Update: No surprise, Dan Froomkin's column today, "High Drama — and High Crimes?" is also superb.