Domestic Spying Revelations Make Impeachment Now Imperative

While serving as President Bush`s White House lawyer,
Alberto Gonzales advised Bush that the president`s war
time powers permitted Bush to ignore the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and to use the
National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on US citizens
without obtaining warrants from the FISA court as
required by law. Under an order signed by Bush in 2002,
NSA illegally spied on Americans without warrants.

By spying on Americans without obtaining warrants, Bush
committed felonies under FISA. Moreover, there is
strong, indeed overwhelming, evidence that justice was
obstructed when Bush and Gonzales blocked a 2006 Justice
Department investigation into whether Gonzales acted
properly as Attorney General in approving and overseeing
the Bush administration`s program of spying on US

Also at issue is whether Gonzales acted properly in
advising Bush to kill an investigation of Gonzales`
professional actions with regard to the NSA spy program.

We are faced with the almost certain fact that the two
highest law enforcement officials of the United States
are criminals.

The evidence that Bush and Gonzales have obstructed
justice comes from internal Justice Department memos and
exchanges of letters between the Justice Department`s
Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), an
investigative office, and members of Congress. The
documents were leaked to the National Journal,
and the story was reported in the March 15, 2007, issue
by Murray Waas, who also relied on interviews with both
current and former high ranking DOJ officials.

Ten months previously on May 25, 2006, Waas broke the
story in the National Journal about the derailing
of the OPR investigation. [
Affairs |Aborted DOJ Probe Probably Would Have Targeted
By Murray Waas, National Journal
March 15, 2007]

From Waas`s report it is obvious that many current and
former Justice Department officials have serious
concerns about the high-handed behavior of the Bush
administration. The incriminating documents were leaked
to the National Journal, the only remaining
national publication that has any credibility. The
New York Times
and Washington Post have
proven to be supine tools of the Bush administration and
are no longer trusted.

When the Bush administration`s violation of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act was leaked to the New
York Times
, the paper`s editors obliged Bush by
spiking the story for one year, while Bush illegally
collected information that he could use to blackmail his
critics into silence. As I

wrote at the time
, the only possible reason for
violating FISA is to collect information that can be
used to silence critics. The administration`s claim that
bypassing FISA was essential to the "war on terror"
is totally false and is a justification and practice
that the Bush administration, no longer able to defend,
abandoned in January of this year.

The known facts:

After keeping the information from Congress and the
public for one year, on Dec. 16, 2005, the New York
reported that Bush was spying on Americans
without complying with the FISA statute. [
Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
By James
Risen And Eric Lichtblau] In response to a request from
members of Congress, the Justice Department`s Office of
Professional Responsibility launched an investigation
into the Bush administration`s decision to ignore FISA
and to conduct domestic spying on American citizens
without obtaining the warrants required by law. On
January 20, 2006, Marshall Jarrett, the Justice
Department official in charge of OPR, informed senior
Justice Department officials of his investigation and
its scope.

Gonzales informed President Bush about the OPR
investigation, and Bush shut down the investigation by
refusing security clearances to the Justice Department
officials in OPR. In a response to Senate Judiciary
Committee chairman Arlen Specter on July 18, 2006,
Gonzales disclosed that President Bush had halted the
OPR investigation.

This is the first and only time in history that DOJ
officials have been denied security clearances necessary
to conduct an investigation
. The Bush administration
claimed that the secret spying was too crucial to our
national security to permit even Justice Department
officials to learn about it. However, even as Bush was
denying clearances to OPR, he granted identical
clearances to: (1) the FBI agents ordered to find who
leaked the administration`s secret spying to the New
York Times
, (2) DOJ officials in the Civil Division
who had to respond to legal challenges to the illegal
spy program, and (3) five private sector individuals who
sit on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Obviously, the unprecedented denial of security
clearances to OPR was done in order to prevent the

On March 21, 2006, Marshall Jarrett wrote to Deputy
Attorney General Paul McNulty that OPR was being
"precluded from performing its duties
Blocked Justice Department Investigation
Murray Waas, National Journal July 18, 2006]

In May, 2006, Jarrett informed Congress:

"On May 9, 2006, we were informed that our requests
had been denied. Without these clearances, we cannot
investigate this matter and therefore have closed our

The National Journal reports:

"[Rep. Maurice] Hinchey and other Democratic House
members asked Jarrett why he was unable to obtain the
necessary clearances; Jarrett`s superiors, according to
government records and to interviews, instructed him not
to inform Congress that President Bush had made the

When the illegal domestic spying program was launched in
2002, Gonzales was still White House Counsel. Documents
and interviews show that most high ranking Justice
Department officials opposed the illegal program.
Attorney General Ashcroft, Deputy Attorney General James
Comey, Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith in
charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, and James A.
Baker, counsel for the Office of Intelligence Policy and
Review all raised objections to the illegality and
propriety of Bush`s National Security Agency
eavesdropping program. Baker went so far as to warn the
presiding judge of the FISA court that authorities were
improperly obtaining information and bypassing the

On learning that the administration was violating FISA,
one of the federal judges on the FISA court resigned in

Goldsmith was troubled by Bush`s claim that the "war
on terror"
gave the president virtually unlimited
powers. Goldsmith`s objections to the
Bush-Cheney-Gonzales view that the president is above
the law during time of war brought him under fierce
attack from Vice President Dick Cheney and Cheney`s two
principal henchmen, Scooter Libby, now a convicted
felon, and David Addington.

Goldsmith found an ally in Deputy Attorney General Comey.
Comey defied the White House in March 2004 when he
refused to reauthorize Bush`s spying on American
citizens unless the program was brought within the law.
Comey incurred additional Bush-Cheney enmity when he
appointed Patrick J. Fitzgerald to investigate the leak
of Valerie Plame`s identity, an investigation that
resulted in the arrest and conviction of Vice President
Cheney`s chief of staff.

In his lengthy and detailed report in the National
, Waas quotes a former White House Official:
"Comey showed us that he was a guy who wouldn`t be
kept on a leash in an administration that likes to keep
everybody on a short leash."

A criminal political administration has no choice but to
keep everyone on a short leash in order to keep its
illegal acts under wraps.

Americans have never experienced an administration so
replete with crimes as the Bush Regime.

This criminal regime must now be brought to an end.
Impeachments of Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales, followed by
felony indictments and trials are imperative if the rule
of law in the United States is to be preserved.



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.