It's hard to imagine why Mike McConnell, the Bush administration's Director of National Intelligence, chose this moment to publish this transparently false op-ed on expanding the scope of the NSA program. With the revelations that arose out of Comey's recent testimony, it couldn't be more clear that the White House was actively conducting illegal domestic surveillance, short of a signed confession from Bush himself.
Glenn Greenwald and Steve Benen have already dispatched McConnell's latest version of "trust us, we need to spy on you but we can't you tell you why or how" to the trash bin so I won't bother to repeat their points except to reiterate how bizarre it is that McConnell wrote an entire op-ed without once mentioning a single specific instance in which the current law has prevented the pursuit of terrorists, nor did he offer the tiniest clue as to what specific expanded powers he believes he needs.
But that still leaves the question, why are they drawing attention to it now? Bush said only days ago he didn't want to talk about it and it's not like they give a flying leap about complying with the law anyway. Meanwhile, the pundits and politicians are already speculating about whether Gonzales and Card commited an indictable offense in their attempt to strong arm Ashcroft about the classified program in the hospital, in front of his wife.
Maybe they're just using their usual shock and awe tactics by creating a web of scandals so large that the average Jake won't be able to comprehend any single thread anymore, but I have to wonder if there isn't some greater malfeasance they want to obscure by advancing a story that is already making them look so bad.