You simply must watch that video. It captures the essence of James Comey's testimony about the late night visit by Bertie Walnuts and Andy Card to John Ashcroft's sick-bed.
The authorization was set to expire on one of the Bush Administrations highly dubious and sooper sekrit "Spy on America" programs, and to them, enemies included anyone who threatened their power.
Ashcroft and Comey had discussed the program, and had decided not to re-authorize it. Immediately after that, Ashcroft took ill and before he went in for surgery, filed the paperwork to deputize Comey to act in his stead.
Mrs. Ashcroft, being a good spouse, barred all contact from anyone to her husband while he recovered in ICU.
But the White House called to say they were sending over their two top thugs to badger Ashcroft, while he was in pain and heavily medicated, into signing a permission slip for the unlawful acts of the White House.
Comey was notified of the surreptitious meeting and he called FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, and the race was on to John Ashcroft's soon-to-be-crowded hospital room.
President Bush refuses to answer whether he ordered Bert and Ernie, er, I mean, Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card to the bedside of a heavily sedated, recovering man to browbeat him into signing a document he had no authority to sign, or whether he thought this was okey dokey, lapsing into his usual dodge of not talking about a sooper sekrit program, designed to protekt wimmins and chilluns from Islamomunifascistic radicals.
Now this whole sordid spectacle took place a full 2 and a half years after the implementation of the program. The Gestalt theory of applied law is well and thriving in the Bush administration. Even after Comey refused to authorize a program that had been in existence for 2 1/2 years for having "no legal basis", Bush continued the program for another two and a half weeks before "modifying" it to prevent mass resignations from top officials.
Asked why Bert and Ernie tried to get a signature from one unauthorized to do so, they gave the "dog ate my homework" excuse.
Comey didn't tell the Senate panel that the bad feelings were stoked even more the next morning when White House officials explained the hospital visit by saying Gonzales and Card were unaware that Comey was acting A.G. (and therefore the only person authorized to sign off on the surveillance program), according to a former senior DOJ official who requested anonymity talking about internal matters. Top DOJ officials were furious, the source said. Just days earlier, Justice's chief spokesman had publicly said Comey would serve as "head of the Justice Department" while Ashcroft was ill.
Heckuva job there, Bertie. Now, he is our illustrious Attorney General. The Republican mantra is behave or be replaced. Sorta like the General before the war who claimed we need 400,000 troops in Iraq, or the post-occupation Generals who were opposed to an escalation.