Monday, February 06, 2006

On Immunity from Perjury

The most important decision made at today's hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee was that, in effect, the Attorney General of the United States is above the law and should be immunized from perjury as he testifies about the illegal wire tapping of American citizens that he authorized.

Here's a quote from the CNN report:

The hearing began with a sudden and sharp partisan dispute when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter ruled that Gonzales did not have to be sworn in to testify. After Democrats strongly objected and demanded a roll-call vote, Republicans prevailed and the attorney general did not testify under oath.

If ordinary Americans have nothing to fear from the intrusions of privacy posed by NSA surveillance, why is Gonzales afraid to testify under oath?

If Gonzales was a Quaker, he could be excused from swearing an oath by giving a simple, legally binding affirmation to tell the truth. Quakers operate under the religious conviction that every word they speak must be truthful. Not just statements they make under oath.

Gonzales, however, is no Quaker. In all likelihood, he authorized the surveillance of law-abiding, truth-telling, peace-loving Quakers and now he wants an exemption from a legally binding requirement to tell the truth about it.

The deliberate mendacity of many of our legislators and the pre-meditated duplicity of key leaders in this administration is utterly contemptible.

Nothing is ever going to restore confidence in our government again until our leaders either become sincere Quakers themselves or are prepared to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when giving testimony.

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