Los Angeles Times columnist Max Boot claimed that the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program led to the arrest of Al Qaeda accomplice Iyman Faris. But contrary to Boot's assertion, a New York Times report indicated that information gleaned from the NSA eavesdropping program did not play "a significant role" in Faris's capture.
During a World News Tonight report on two recently filed lawsuits that challenge the legality of the Bush administration's use of warrantless domestic surveillance, ABC Justice Department correspondent Pierre Thomas failed to disclose that the "legal scholar" he quoted saying that "it's really questionable" whether the lawsuits can go forward worked as a White House lawyer for President Bush and may have been involved in reviewing and approving the surveillance programs in question.
In a radio commentary, Charles W. Colson claimed that Martin Luther King Jr. was a "great conservative" who would have supported the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.
On CNN's The Situation Room, conservative columnist Frank J. Gaffney Jr. made the dubious claim that by attempting to obtain warrants for electronic surveillance of U.S. persons, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), President Bush would have "tipp[ed] off our enemies" to the fact the U.S. government was spying on them.
Numerous media outlets echoed Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's criticisms of former Vice President Al Gore's January 16 speech, which was highly critical of President Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic espionage in apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Gonzales argued that Gore was being "inconsistent" because the Clinton administration did the same thing; in fact, Clinton's use of warrantless physical searches, which Gonzales cited, did not violate FISA because at the time FISA did not address physical searches.
In a conversation with Radio Factor host Bill O'Reilly about President Bush's secret authorization of warrantless domestic wiretapping, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano asked: "Would you feel this way if Hillary [Clinton] were president?" Napolitano then added: "Because then you know the pro-life and the pro-gun will -- they'll be targets of warrantless searches. ... And maybe conservative commentators will be targets of warrantless searches."
MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews asserted that illegally spying on Americans in an effort to track down terrorists was "maybe ... part of the job" of the president of the United States.
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CBS, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post reported without challenge the disputed claim that President Bush has the legal authority to instruct the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of people in the United States without obtaining warrants.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly claimed that "Americans were not spied on without a warrant" through President Bush's controversial electronic surveillance program. In fact, the program is controversial precisely because evidence suggests that Bush authorized the National Security Agency to spy on people within the United States without obtaining warrants.
A January 10 Wall Street Journal editorial presented as fact misleading and disputed assertions about President Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin corrected a previous misstatement that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was in the majority of the Doe v. Groody decision, a 2003 case involving the physical and visual search of a 10-year-old girl. In fact, Alito dissented in the case, while the majority ruled that the search went beyond the scope of the warrant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
For the second time in a week, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denied the FBI a warrant to search the laptop computer of Zacarias Moussaoui. But in fact, the FBI never petitioned the court for a warrant after bureau attorneys determined they did not have sufficient evidence.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was in the majority on a three-judge panel when he said that the physical and visual search of a 10-year-old girl and her mother was legal. In fact, Alito dissented from the majority opinion, which ruled that the search was illegal.
Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes falsely claimed that public polling shows "support" for the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic spy program. In fact, an AP/Ipsos poll released January 6 shows that 56 percent of Americans said the Bush administration "[s]hould ... be required to get a warrant from a judge before monitoring phone and internet communications between American citizens in the United States and suspected terrorists."
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested that "the Democrats may be looking for trouble" if they criticize the Bush administration's warrantless spying program during the Alito hearings, falsely stating that the public supports the administration's program