So let's seek out some counterbalance today. Here's John Hinderaker's defense of the Bush administration. You simply must read the whole thing, because Hinderaker explains an elaborate time line and puts Comey's testimony in context in a way that is not susceptible to excerpting. Here's the conclusion:
[I]f you put the whole sequence together, it may well be that no actor in this admittedly lurid drama did anything wrong. Ashcroft and Comey apparently decided to go along with the conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and insist on changes in the program. Nothing wrong with that. Gonzales and Card may well not have known of Ashcroft's changed opinion, arrived at on the same day he went to the hospital--this is a key fact we don't know--and thought that Comey was trying to reverse his boss's judgment. So they went to see Ashcroft personally. Nothing wrong with that, as far as we know. Ashcroft set them straight; nothing wrong with that. (It's worth noting that Comey described Ashcroft's performance as a demonstration of physical and moral strength that was unprecedented in his experience.) President Bush then got into the act, learned the facts, and told Comey to do whatever he thought was right as acting Attorney General. Nothing wrong with that; on the contrary. The NSA program was revised to satisfy DOJ's concerns, and continued in effect, protecting Americans from terrorist attack, to the present time. Nothing wrong with that, to say the least.I'm declaring myself cured of that NPR-inspired unease about all this. If you think Hinderaker is wrong in his interpretation, please explain.