Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The NYTimes Lying? I'm shocked, shocked

Check out how the NYTimes's reporter Eric Lichtblau entirely misrepresents the position of the FISA court judges, delivered in plain English in order to maintain the Times' narrative that Bush overreached on the NSA kerfuffle.

For more of the transcript, check out Powerline or NRO's Media Blog.

Here's the bottomline:
Senator Feinstein: Judge?

Judge Stafford: Everyone is bound by the law, but I do not believe, with all due respect, that even an act of Congress can limit the President's power under the Necessary and Proper Clause under the Constitution.

***

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.
Jeff Goldstein adds:
But of course, the truth is secondary to the support of the dominant narrative. After all, we need to be taught the important lesson in all this - and sometimes, inconvenient facts get in the way of that narrative.

But we can forgive this. Given that it's for the greater good and all...


Just One Minute has an excerpt from a different part of the transcript, from the testimony of Magistrate Judge Allan Kornblum, who first got involved with these issues in the mid-70's:
However, the FISA statute has very specific definitions, and there are intelligence activities that fall outside the FISA statute. Those activities went forward and have continued to this day and are still being done under the president's authority as set forth in the executive orders describing U.S. intelligence activities.

There were three orders: President Ford's order, 11905; President Carter's order, 12036; and the current order, 12333 (text here), which was issued by President Reagan in December of '81.

That order has been used by all of the presidents following President Reagan without change.

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