Gonzles had better have lots of evidence tomorrow that he's telling the truth, and not again perjuring himself, because this flatly contradicts slews of stories based on information from administration officials.
From the Financial Times:
"Contrary to the speculation reflected in some media reporting, the terrorist surveillance programme is not a dragnet that sucks in all conversation and uses computer searches to pick out calls of interest," Mr Gonzales will say in response to questions raised by Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee. "No communications are intercepted unless first it is determined that one end of the call is outside of the country, and professional intelligence experts have probable cause [that is, 'reasonable grounds to believe'] that a part to the communication is a member or agent of al-Qaeda or an affiliated terrorist organisation."Wait a minute, the media got the story totally wrong, but then:
But that appears to conflict with a detailed report in yesterday's Washington Post, based on anonymous interviews with US intelligence officials. The report said that only some 5,000 Americans had had their conversations recorded or e-mails read since the programme was launched following the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, in order to identify those targets, hundreds of thousands of calls and e-mails are first scanned and subject to computer filtering in order to identify the smaller number deemed suspicious.
1. Bush came out and, in response, admitted the details of the program publicly. Why would he do that if the media got the story wrong? All he'd have to do is say we're not doing any of that, period. But instead he publicly admitted the real details of a super classified program that he claims by making public serious jeopardizes national security?
2. Even more bizarre, Cheney this week had the following to say about the NYT's reporting on this story:
With Congress preparing to plunge into a hearing focused exclusively on the warrantless wiretapping, Vice President Dick Cheney said exposing the effort has done "enormous damage to our national security." The New York Times revealed the program's existence in December.But, if the NYT got the story wrong, then its reporting revealed nothing at all. And its erroneous reporting most certainly did not cause "enormous damage to our national security." It can't, if it's wrong. And finally, the NYT's "wrong" stories most certainly did not "give information to our enemies about how we go about collecting intelligence about against them." If anything, they gave the enemy misinformation, if Gonzales is really going to say this tomorrow. Then what was Cheney smoking last week when he said this?
"It, obviously, reveals techniques and sources and methods that are important to try to protect," Cheney said. "It gives information to our enemies about how we go about collecting intelligence against them. It also raises questions in the minds of other intelligence services about whether or not they can work with the United States intelligence service, with our CIA, for example, if we can't keep a secret."
So, did Cheney lie last week in an effort to slam the NYT, or is Gonzales going to lie tomorrow in an effort to deceive the public about Bush's domestic spying program?
3. And finally, we find this out, that all the news reports have supposedly been wrong, 6 weeks later, on a Sunday night, the eve of congressional hearings on the sujbect? None of those GOP Senators and Congressmen who were briefed on the subject could have come forward in the past six weeks and said, uh, the newspaper stories are just wrong? No, suddenly, tonight, we find this out.
I hate football, but even I recognize a Hail Mary when I see it.