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These Reporters Went to the Same Hearing?


John at Power Line points out obvious discrepancies between articles published in The Washington Times and The New York Times about five former FISA judges who testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Washington Times' article said that the five judges testified that the NSA Terrorist Surveillance program was legal.

The New York Times said that the five former FISA judges were skeptical of the program's legality.

Power Line is working to track down the transcripts of the judges' testimony to find out which reporter's article is correct.

Update: John at Power Line now has a link to the transcripts to this hearing and concludes that The Washinton Times' statement was overstated but still a fair report of the testimony of the five former FISA judges. On the other hand, The New York Times' article was off base completely. In fact, John writes this of Eric Lichtblau's reporting:

New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau has a considerable career investment (and, I suspect, an ideological investment as well) in the idea that the NSA program is illegal. It would seem that Lichtblau's preconceptions and biases prevented him from accurately reporting what happened in the Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday. His suggestion that the main thrust of the judges' testimony was to "voice skepticism about the president's constitutional authority" is simply wrong; in fact, I can't find a single line in more than 100 pages of transcript that supports Lichtblau's reporting. It's a sad thing when a once-respected newspaper can't be counted on for a straight account of a Congressional hearing.

Also see Jay Tea's piece Recalibrating the NY Times.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference These Reporters Went to the Same Hearing?:

» Flopping Aces linked with FISA Judges Back Bush

» fire-on-the-mountain.com linked with Top 10 numbers and statistics never reported by the MSM

» All Things Beautiful linked with The NSA Blow Out

Comments (8)

Never trust the MSM until t... (Below threshold)

Never trust the MSM until the story has been verified by a reliable source.

There seems to be this miin... (Below threshold)

There seems to be this miinformation (at least by the NYT) that because congress passed the FISA law the president has "broken" the law by not following it.

The president would not have broken the law unless the law was valid in the first place. Congrss, due to something we call "seperation of powers" , cannot pass laws restricting the presidents constitutional powers, including the most sacred and untouchable, (at least according to some, including some on the SCOTUS) War Powers.

The skepticism is whether the Executive has inherent power to run the program, and if so, it doesnt matter what congress says, and the executive could laugh at the FICA and tell them to blow it out their butts. Interestingly, Bill Clinton was an even more powerful subscriber of the expansive powers, unrestrainable by congress, than Bush. Go back and check it out, or read last months (well, march but the new one is out) of www.thepocketpart.org

No prob. the NYT's always g... (Below threshold)

No prob. the NYT's always got a corrected version for a later date.

Well which paper do you bel... (Below threshold)
Sun Yung Moon:

Well which paper do you believe is more accurate? One run by a bunch of filthy jesus killers or one owned by me - Sun Yung Moon, the true father and messiah to all humankind?

Now bow down before my greatness. I may have bilked the life savings from thousands of elderly Japanese people and I certainly married a teenager when I was a 40 year old divorcee, but I also saved Hitler's soul!

I rock.

So I think it goes without saying that my newspaper's version of the event is the more accurate. WWSYMD? I'd tell it like it is dammit!

Powerline got the <a href="... (Below threshold)

Powerline got the transcript. here is the most telling section:

Chairman Specter: I think the thrust of what you are saying is the President is bound by statute like everyone else unless it impinges on his constitutional authority, and a statute cannot take away the President's constitutional authority. Anybody disagree with that?
[No response.]
Chairman Specter: Everybody agrees with that.

Stephen,I assume t... (Below threshold)
seattle slough:


I assume that Specter then surveyed the panel to ascertain their individual opinions as to the full extent of the President's constitutional authority.

Or not.

Because without that information, Specter's question doesn't really mean anything does it.

"If a court refuses a F... (Below threshold)

"If a court refuses a FISA application and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review, the president can under executive order act unilaterally, which he is doing now," said Judge Allan Kornblum, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and an author of the 1978 FISA Act.

Note the "If a court refuses", a conditional statement that implies that Bush has first gone to the court for approval of a warrant and that approval has not been given. Followed by another conditional statement, " and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review", then the president may act unilaterally. So Judge Kornblum's conditions under which Bush may spy without a warrant are first, the Executive branch must first go to the FISA court for a warrant, That warrant must be refused ( unlikely considering how accomodating the FISA court has been), then the President establishes that the need to perform this act of domestic spying is of such dire and urgent importance that there is not time to appeal the FISA court's ruling, he may act "unilatterally". So Hinrocket at Powerline, a lawyer I might add, apparently doesn't understand what the WT story says or is being deliberately misleading.

Funny, but not a new idea, ... (Below threshold)

Funny, but not a new idea, here are some others (sorry, didn't dig up the years to go with the dates, you'll recognize the events):
Nuns Tell of Panic About Fund-Raiser
Documents Destroyed or Altered to Conceal Temple's Role With DNC
-- Washington Post, September 5
Nuns Say Temple Event With Gore Was Not A Fund-Raiser
-- New York Times, same day
Iran-Contra Report Castigates Reagan
Impeachment 'Should Have Been Considered,' Prosecutor Says
-- Washington Post, January 19.
Iran-Contra inquiry clears Reagan, Bush
Walsh alleges cover-up by top aides
-- Boston Globe, same day.
U.S. Captive Says He's Well Treated
Somalis Provide Daily Medical Care
-- Washington Post, October 9
US captive tells of being dragged through streets
-- Boston Globe, same day
Bush Makes Public Iran-Contra Diary
Entries Suggest He Did Not Know Details of Scandal
-- New York Times, January 16
Diary Says Bush Knew 'Details' of Iran Arms Deal
-- Washington Post, same day
U.S Raises Estimate of '92 Deficit
-- Washington Post, July 16
Budget Deficit Estimate Is Lowered
-- New York Times, same day
The MRC, always providing giggles.






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