Arlen Specter, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on how to respond to the White House's claim of executive privilege as grounds to insist that it will only allow its subpoenaed staffers to testify if they aren't under oath and if there is no transcript (i.e., only if they can lie with complete impunity):
I think we ought to give consideration to bringing in those individuals and finding out what we can under the president's terms. It doesn't preclude us from compulsory process and proceeding with the subpoenas at a later time.
Specter, it should be pointed out, has only a tiny little smidgen of conscience, a cheap little toy compass that works better as a bracelet charm than as any sort of guide to principled action.
When he was chair of the Judiciary Committee, it was a sad yet infuriating joke. He would rehearse this same little dithering speech--exactly!--whenever Gonzales and his bunch would come in and lie to his face about wiretapping, torture, or what have you, and he insisted there was no need place them under oath. Then they'd lie, Specter would read about it in the papers and get asked about it on Sunday morning TV, and he'd fume, "We've got to get to the bottom of this!"
Until the next time, when they'd do it to him again. Lucy Van Pelt never found a more willing sucker.
Fortunately for Senator Specter, there's a ready line of talking-head shows willing to bring him on and present his particularly adle-pated form of accommodationism
Hat tip to Doctor Beyond, for knowing perfectly well that once he mentioned it to me I wouldn't be able to drop it.