The fine gentlemen at Power Line Blog have spotted an interesting pair of news stories about the FISA court meeting yesterday. Five former judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) met with the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 28th. The brouhaha came about when it was revealed that President Bush had ordered the NSA to listen in on calls entering or leaving the U.S. going to suspected (or known) al-Qaeda members. As President Bush put it, “If al Qaeda is calling into the United States, we want to know.” Seems to make sense to me.
Anyway, John points out two different news stories. The Washington Times has a post titled, “FISA judges say Bush within law.” On the same day, the New York Times has printed an article titled “Judges on Secretive Panel Speak Out on Spy Program.”
These two articles have two very different slants on the same meeting. As I see it, there are two options: first, one of the articles got the information wrong as it spun out according to the writer’s biases, or two, the five judges came down squarely on both sides of the issue, granting the two newspapers enough leeway to write both articles. Power Line is going to track down the transcripts of the meeting, so we’ll find out just what was said.
UPDATE (3/29/2006 8:15:28 PM): John of Power Line Blog has looked at the transcripts and, based on what was really said at the meeting, the New York Times article is out of line.
It’s sad, but is it really unexpected?