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Bush administration attorney general Alberto Gonzales visited MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday to offer insight into the Associated Press leak investigation. Gonzales said that the Obama administration likely knew about the subpoenaing of reporters’ phone records.

Our Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason asked Gonzales if he had any occasion to subpoena reporters records in a national security case while heading up the Department of Justice. The former attorney general said he considered doing so, but ultimately declined.

As Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler noted:

In fact, as Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly obtained calling records for more than 3,500 telephone accounts from 2003 to 2006 without following any legal procedures, according to a newly disclosed report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Instead, according to the 289-page report, F.B.I. agents informally requested the records from employees of three unidentified telephone companies who were stationed inside a bureau communications office…

On four occasions, the bureau made inaccurate statements to a court that authorizes national security wiretaps about how it had obtained calling records, the report said.

And agents twice improperly gained access to reporters’ calling records as part of leak investigations.

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Americans are currently experiencing one of the most peculiar public episodes of my lifetime. Amid a deadly worldwide disease epidemic, many people are behaving like medieval peasants: alternately denying the existence of the plague, blaming an assortment of imaginary villains, or running around seeking chimerical miracle cures.

Feed store Ivermectin? I've administered it to horses, cows and dogs. But to my wife? No thank you. It says right on the label that it's not for human consumption. But at least you won't die of heartworm.

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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