Tuesday, February 07, 2006

NSA Hearings 2: Electric Boogaloo

Based on the reviews from the blogosphere, the Dems on the Committee did a pretty good job (except for Kennedy, from what I've seen) in the hearings and landed some blows on Gonzales. I did not watch any news or read very many news accounts of the hearings, so I cannot say how the media is playing things. I should point out, that part of the theater of the hearings would mean the Dems would make some good arguments and get some good soundbites off, the "spectacular failure" would come in the form of mised opportunities and the ultimate portrayal of the hearings by the press as well as how much the Republicans would shepherd Gonzales through the hearing.

Crooks and Liars has several video clips, including the fiasco of not swearing Gonzales in here (it's not exactly compelling TV, but Specter really comes off badly, and it's nice to see the Republicans forced to vote by roll call NOT to swear the witness). The clip worth watching is Leahy's opening statement—about 95% very forceful and effective. He wanders a bit at the very end, but really got off some good stuff. And don't miss Gonzalez claiming Washington and Lincoln engaged in electronic surveillance.

For an excellent Cliff's Notes version of the hearings see the 5-part synopsis at firedoglake.com. It really doesn't matter if you read them in order...

But the performance of the day goes to Glenn Greenwald on CSPAN this morning. This should be required viewing for any Democrat likely to face a question on or chance to explain this NSA situation. In two minutes he deftly turns an absolute wingnut caller's question and effectively uses it to make just about every possible case against this spying program. Seriously—the call is probably straight out of a Dem handler's worst-case scenario handbook, and Greenwald absolutely mops the floor with the caller and his "conservative" counterweight.


Otto Man said...

Greenwald was great. I had no idea he was so young.

I was particularly impressed that he responded to the caller's argument that liberals like him should've died in the WTC with reasoned arguments. I would've told her to stick it.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, as I waited for the clip to get rolling, I was looking at the two talking heads, wondering which guy was Greenwald. I figured the Wilfred Brimley guy was less likely to be a blogger, meaning Glenn must be the young guy, (probably not coincidentally) on the left..

That kind of 9/11 loaded question was practically Coulter-esque, and would likely have thrown a normal Dem politician off his/her game. He handled it beautifully.

S.W. Anderson said...

I caught more of the hearing on C-SPAN last night. Leahy's questioning was tough, but the interesting part was how he let it be known in so many words how little credibility Senor Rubberstamp deserves. That was in relation I think to certain inconsistencies noted since the AG's confirmation hearings.

Feingold hit on that too, but not as deftly as Leahy.

Maybe the most curious part was that Specter insisted on not swearing Gonzales in, even knowing full well how badly that would reflect on him (Specter).

There's something really odd about it, given how outspoken Specter has been about the illegality of what Bush is doing. On one hand, he's making what appears to be an honest, principled stand, while on the other he comes of as just another partisan GOP loyalist.

Pooh said...

After watching the clip, I may be developing a completely platonic man-crush on GG.