March 29, 2006

Fact or Fiction?

In news related to the five FISA court judge's testimony, competing articles today by Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times and Brian DeBose of the Washington Times paint radically different pictures of the judge's testimony today, with Lichtblau's article making it appear that the five judges were siding against the president, and DeBose stating that the judges said Bush's executive order was legal. Obviously, one is wrong, and possibly being deceptive. The "verdict" from the lawyers of Powerline:

Having reviewed the transcript, I conclude that the Washington Times' characterization was fair, but arguably overstated. The New York Times, however, badly misled its readers...

...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.

Eric Litchblau seems to have either lost his objectivity on this story so completely that he cannot even report facts, or he has made the conscious decision to misrepresent the story to the point of outright fabrication.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 29, 2006 10:55 PM | TrackBack

Evidently the NYT reporters (sic) are so accustomed to lying about anything involving the president they can't bring themselves to break the habit. They had to know they would get caught in the lie, but they also know that half of the people that read their lies will never find out it was a lie. Most lefties aren't capable of reading and understanding more than one sentence per day.

Posted by: scrapiron at March 30, 2006 12:14 AM

The quoted judges specifically discussed the case where a judge refuses a warrant. Bush never went to the court for warrants, as the law required.

Also - why would you rely on the Washington Times as a source? The LaRouches carry very little credibility so why should their newspaper? Thisarticle's twisting of what the judges said is ust one example.

Posted by: Dave Johnson at March 30, 2006 01:05 AM

Dave, your argument is irrelevant.

This post is about the fact Lichtblau misrepresented what occurred during the hearings, and the Washington Times is only important in that it pointed out the glaring difference in coverage of the same event, one that warranted further review.

A quick read of the available parts of the transcript shows that the judges agreed, like the FISA Court of Review in In RE: Sealed Case (2002), that the Executive has inherent constitutional authority to conduct foreign intelligence for military purposes, and that FISA is no valid restriction upon this duty.

More here, but the basic gist is that if ever challenged directly in a court of law, FISA and similar restrictions would be struck down as unconstitutionally infringing on the President's inherent powers.

Congress can pass unconstitutional laws like this all day long, but the Presidency does not have to follow them, and would be in violation of his oath of office if he did.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 30, 2006 01:37 AM


Try reading the transcripts of what was said first, and then speaking. You will look a lot less foolish by backing up the NYT. Remember - they will keep trying to spin it their way since they are under investigation for possibly violating several laws. Get a grip!

Posted by: Specter at March 30, 2006 10:06 AM

**Not at all relevant** And I refuse to defend the Times today.

But Confederate Yankee, have you gambled today!? NC Lottery in the school house! (Sorry didn't know where to put it.)

Posted by: Nick D at March 30, 2006 03:03 PM

The NYTimes printed an ideologically biased article? What a shock!

Posted by: benning at March 30, 2006 03:46 PM

There should be a concerted effort to out those journalist who may be using their by-line for supporting an upcoming book instead of reporting the news.

Posted by: davod at March 30, 2006 05:10 PM

I note today that Dave Johnson follows the "Murtha Doctrine" meticulously. That would be, "If Things Look Hard, Cut and Run."

Posted by: Specter at March 31, 2006 09:24 AM