Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The truth comes first

This morning FBI Director Robert Mueller was testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Bureau's abuse of "National Security Letters", a form of warrantless snooping that escalated after the passage of the USA Patriot Act, predictably resulting in overreach and now backlash.

One often wonders about the size of the gulf between what senior Bush administration officials (at least the more sane ones) realise behind the scenes and what actually emerges when they brief the public on their activities, so a perhaps relevant observation occurs just after the 25 minute mark in this C-Span video of his testimony. Following an interruption by Senator Pat Leahy (doubtless reflecting his impatience with Mueller simply reading a bland prepared statement), Mueller describes the use of the letters as "indefensible" before hastily correcting himself and saying, twice, indispensable.

We're told that the transcript of his remarks only reflects the latter double utterance and not his original mistake, and no one around the table seems to react. You'd think that the mask slipping for just one second might get more of a reaction.

No comments: