Just The Beginning (updated)

Clearly, this is going to be quite a report: White House Edits to Privacy Boards Report Spur Resignationpdf

The Bush administration made more than 200 revisions to the first report of a civilian board that oversees government protection of personal privacy, including the deletion of a passage on anti-terrorism programs that intelligence officials deemed “potentially problematic” intrusions on civil liberties, according to a draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post.

One of the panel’s five members, Democrat Lanny J. Davis, resigned in protest Monday over deletions ordered by White House lawyers and aides. The changes came after the congressionally created Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board had unanimously approved the final draft of its first report to lawmakers, renewing an internal debate over the board’s independence and investigative power.

See also White House Pushed Ashcroft on Wiretappingspdf. The NYTimes writeup (which reads like a Ludlum thriller!), Gonzales Pressed Ailing Ashcroft on Spy Plan, Aide Says, shows that there are at least some people INSIDE the Beltway who hold Gonzales in complete contempt. In particular:

Even before Mr. Comey’s testimony, Mr. Schumer and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the panel’s ranking Republican, reiterated their low opinion of Mr. Gonzales as attorney general.

“He’s presided over a Justice Department where being a, quote, loyal Bushie seems to be more important than being a seasoned professional, where what the White House wants is more important than what the law requires or what prudence dictates,” Mr. Schumer said.

“It is the decision of Mr. Gonzales as to whether he stays or goes, but it is hard to see how the Department of Justice can function and perform its important duties with Mr. Gonzales remaining where he is,” Mr Specter said. “And beyond Mr. Gonzales’ decision, it’s a matter for the president as to whether the president will retain the attorney general or not.”

Later – it just gets worse and worse – President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping

Even later: Editorial: Mr. Gonzales’s Incredible Adventure; Testimony sheds light on ex-Justice official’s departurepdf

Gonzales’ sick-bed appealpdf