This past week, during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez uttered an interesting defense of Mr. Bush’s use of electronic surveillance in the U.S., without benefit of Court approval. He cited the precedent of other presidents having done the same thing.
Are you ready for the exact quote of what Gonzalez said in citing precedent? Okay, here it is, quoted exactly:
Gonzales: "President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale."
Obviously, The Father of Our Country must have had Ben Franklin working overtime on that electronic surveillance. I wonder who Abe Lincoln used as his electronics guru. Wilson had a Doctorate, so he probably figured out how to do it on his own. I just wish that Gonzalez had clarified whether it was Teddy Roosevelt or Franklin Roosevelt who carried out this type of surveillance. Actually, it must have been Teddy. Didn’t he say, "Speak softly and carry a big eavesdropping device"?
Apparently, Mr. Gonzalez’s knowledge of U.S. History (as well as technology) is on a par with Mr. Bush’s.