Sunday, January 29, 2006

Debunking the New York Times

Power Line's John Hinderaker is one of my all-time favorite bloggers. Especially lately. His research and commentary about the NSA's surveillance program has been unmatched. No one has come close to achieving the depth and accuracy of his work, and the MSM can't touch him.

So it comes as no surprise when John demolishes the New York Times' latest editorial.

Here are the concluding graphs from John's post, titled "Spies and Lying Editorialists":

So the only federal appellate court that has ruled on the issue says that the New York Times is wrong about the law. The Times, ostrich-like, pretends that the federal courts don't exist.

This is, if you think about it, a rather weird situation. The Times, in company with lots of other liberals, agrees that the administration is doing a good thing by intercepting international messages between al Qaeda terrorists and their agents in the U.S. Their only complaint is that in a relative handful of cases, they want the administration to follow a different procedure--a procedure which, on their telling, will not perceptibly encumber the administration's ability to carry out the international surveillance in question. So their grievance is a technical one.

The problem is, you can't base a technical legal argument on what you think the law ought to be. You can only base a technical legal argument on what the law actually is. And the current state of the law, as uniformly articulated by the federal courts, is that the NSA's international surveillance program is a legal implementation of the President's constitutional powers. So, technically speaking, the Times is simply wrong. Which leaves me wondering what the hyperventilating is all about.

Leave it to The Times to avoid "inconvenient" facts. They're way to crafty to let a silly little thing like judicial precent get in the way of some biased editorializing.

I strongly urge you to read the whole post, it does a great job of identifying the central issues to the NSA surveillance program, and the court rulings that allow it.