Jan 31, 2006

to perjure or not to perjure

Is it perjury to answer questions about classified national security programs inaccurately? Andrew Sullivan seems to think so. He noted today a Washington Post story about a Senate Judiciary Committee Heaaring in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called any discussion about warrantless wiretapping "hypothetical." I tried to get the full context of this discussion from the hearing, but only the introductory statements are available online. However, from this information we can at least assume that this hearing was public. When asked about any potential warrantless wiretapping, should Gonzales have disclosed the existence of the classified program? Wouldn't that be a crime?
So if answering a question accurately is a crime (disclosing classified information to the public) and answering a question inaccurately is a crime (perjury under oath), then what is a person to do? It is my opinion that perjury is the lesser evil in this situation, since classified national security information should remain so, and therefore Gonzales should have no charges brought against him in either case.

No comments: