|News media snuggle up to ex-con, but ignore FISA judges
By Jim Kouri
The news media are covering Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the legality of the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program -- an intelligence initiative that by-passes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- by concentrating on the ramblings of Bush opponents and unsubstantiated allegations by a former felon and snitch.
Meanwhile reporters neglect -- intentionally or unintentionally -- reporting on the testimony of people who have opinions backed by qualifications and expertise. So once again, the elite media are being selective in what they report and whom they choose to quote.
An example is disgraced Nixon White House counsel John Dean stating before the committee on Friday that President George W. Bush's domestic spying program raised more concerns about abuse of power than the Watergate scandal that toppled his boss Richard Nixon. Quite a statement coming from a guy who broke the law and snitched out his co-workers to save his own skin from even more prison time. Leave it to the Democrat Party and the mainstream news media to snuggle up to an ex-con. They would fawn over a child rapist if he uttered something negative about President Bush.
Dean, who served time in prison for his role in Watergate, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a Democrat-led bid to censure Bush for the eavesdropping program that is part of his war on terrorism. It doesn't matter that John Dean has no experience in counter-terrorism, criminal law or even constitutional law. The man was a legal hack for the Nixon Administration.
"I appear today because I believe, with good reason, that the situation is even more serious [than Watergate]," Dean said.
There's no coincidence that Dean authored a book titled Worse than Watergate, which slams the Bush administration as obsessed with politics and secrecy. Of course, the book isn't doing well because no one really cares what some ex-convict who's far from being a Bush insider has to say.
Republicans have called the censure resolution a political stunt, while many Democrats have distanced themselves from it as they jockey for position on the issue of national security and near the November congressional elections, according to Reuters wire service. In other words, the Democrats hate Bush, but they hate losing elections even more and the key to winning is to con Americans into believing they really care about national security.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), whom Reuters described as a "maverick" politican, offered the censure resolution this month. He charged that without getting court approval, Bush violated the law by secretly ordering the program to listen to phone conversations with suspected al-Qaida members outside the country. Feingold is attempting to score Brownie points with the far-left wackadoos in his party.
The Reuters story, which is picked-up by hundreds of news organizations, wrote the following:
"Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, began the hearing by declaring that the resolution has no merit.
"'But it provides a forum for discussion,' said Specter.
"Like many members of the US Congress, Specter has voiced concerns about the program that monitors overseas phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens while in pursuit of al-Qaida."
Now here's the part that was overlooked by Reuters and other news organizations:
Five former FISA Court judges told the US Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday that, with regards to the NSA communique intercept program, President Bush acted within the law. The judges also said that the FISA Court does not have the Constitutional right to override this presidential authority, according to syndicated columnist Sher Zieve.
According to Zieve, former FISA Court Judge Allan Kornblum advised the Judiciary Committee that if President Bush so opts, he has the authority to act unilaterally and without FISA court review.
Judge Kornblum added: "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."
Judge Kornblum also said that it would have been negligent of President Bush to have deferred his authority to the FISA court and commented: "I think that the president would be remiss exercising his constitutional authority by giving all of that power over to a statute." Four other former judges from the FISA court concurred with Kornblum.
Now how did our men and women of the press miss those tidbits?
The news media breathlessly report the comments of a second-rate lawyer, ex-convict and snitch as if it were newsworthy, but the opinions of judges who actually sat on the FISA court deserved to be ignored. The news media aren't left-wing lapdogs for the Democrats. Right?
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