Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Is Either A Bad Lawyer Or A Liar

Ken AshfordWiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

From last night’s CNN interview by Larry King of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez:

KING: General, isn’t there a happy medium? Isn’t there a way to get quickly to a judge who signs off on a warrant to tap or listen in? Isn’t there a way to do that quick?

GONZALES: Larry, whenever you involve another branch of government in an activity regarding electronic surveillance, inherently it’s going to result in some cases in delay. Perhaps in straightforward cases we can get authority relatively quickly but not all of these cases are straightforward and it’s very, very important that the president has the agility and the speed to gather up electronic surveillance of individuals that may be in contact with the enemy.

Now, if Larry King was up on his facts, the proper follow-up would be pointing out to Gonzales that "agility and speed" are not compromised under the law, since FISA allows the Administration to begin eavesdropping immediately without a warrant, and then get approval from the FISA Court retroactively.

Larry King, not a stellar journalist by any means, can perhaps be forgiven for not knowing this aspect of the law.  But Gonzales should know better.  And his blatently unsupportable argument should be pointed out at every turn.