On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, author Phil Kent asserted that "back in 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union, of all people, rejected some Ford and Rockefeller grants because of fear of terror links." Guest host Kitty Pilgrim did not challenge the claim. In fact, the ACLU has stated that it rejected funding from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations because their "restrictive funding agreements ... might adversely affect the civil liberties of the ACLU and other grantees."
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that he gets Sen. Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden "confused," stating that bin Laden's call in a newly released tape "to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and [Pakistani President] Musharraf ... puts him on the same page with" Obama. However, Obama has said he "never called for an invasion of Pakistan."
The New York Times stated that attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey "has repeatedly spoken out to support the administration's claim to broad powers in pursuing terrorist threats, especially in conducting electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects and in imprisoning them before trial." But Mukasey's ruling as a district court judge on the detention of terrorism suspects went beyond what the Times reported. In the case of Jose Padilla, Mukasey ruled that the government had the legal authority to imprison Padilla, a U.S. citizen arrested within the United States, without trial.
On CNN Newsroom, Marine Sgt. Marco Martinez claimed that "if we were to pull out prematurely, the terrorists would follow us home, and it would be disastrous for both us and Iraq," a statement that anchor Betty Nguyen did not challenge. As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, this claim is contested by a wide range of U.S. intelligence officials, security experts, and military analysts.
Among the reasons cited by Charles Krauthammer that Al Qaeda has not and cannot "hit us" is because the Bush administration has waged an "incredibly effective war in Afghanistan" that he said has "expelled Al Qaeda and scattered it, and has kept it off-balance for six years now." In fact, the July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Al Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability" including a "safehaven" in Pakistan. Krauthammer also credited "secret prisons and the interrogation which yielded and interrogated people like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed"; but even supporters of the CIA's interrogation and detention program reportedly acknowledge that much of the information that coercion produces, including information gathered from Mohammed, is unreliable.
On Meet The Press, Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody asserted: "At the end of the day ... this issue [terrorism] helps the Republicans more than the Democrats because they're going to be able to enforce this idea that the Democrats want to go at this with law enforcement and the Republicans don't." Neither Tim Russert nor his other guest, CNBC's John Harwood, challenged Brody's assertions; in fact, Democrats have offered strategies for fighting both Al Qaeda in Iraq and the main Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asked Juan Williams, "Who are we fighting there [in Iraq] now, Juan?" then answered his own question: "Al Qaeda in Iraq. They were there before we got there, and they're there now." In fact, U.S. military and intelligence officials have reportedly stated that Al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to Osama bin Laden until October 2004, and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides. Further, the 9-11 Commission found "no evidence" that contacts between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda "developed into a collaborative operational relationship" before the Iraq invasion.
Discussing a new video message Osama bin Laden was expected to release, Chris Matthews asked, "Does it have a help to Rudy [Giuliani] there? Does it help the Republicans generally?" Washingtonpost.com staff writer Chris Cillizza responded, "It immediately brings to mind the sense that we are still in this war on terror. I think any time that that dynamic exists in the political dialogue, it helps Rudy." But Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the 9-11 attacks has been questioned and criticized.
During a discussion about U.S. efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, Wolf Blitzer did not ask presidential homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend about the cease-fire agreement between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and pro-Taliban leaders in Pakistan's tribal areas, which the Bush administration reportedly "reluctantly endorsed."
The New York Post asserted that "[t]he writer who penned the script for last year's controversial ABC miniseries 'The Path to 9/11' says pressure from powerful supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton is delaying the mini's DVD release." But the Post article failed to address the inaccuracies in the film and the sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC said the miniseries was based.
A Los Angeles Times article on the DVD release of ABC's The Path to 9/11 reported that the original miniseries "ignited a political firestorm, almost entirely from high-profile Democratic leaders who viewed its account ... as a right-wing hatchet job," overlooking factual inaccuracies in the film and sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC claimed the miniseries was based. Those inaccuracies and discrepancies were pointed out in the Times' own review of The Path to 9/11, which also noted the film's "partisan politics" and its "hopeless muddle of the line between fact and 'dramatization.' "
An article in The New York Times reported President Bush's assertion that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq would "embolden our enemies and make it more likely that they would attack us at home," without noting expert opinion that a U.S. troop withdrawal is unlikely to result in a terrorist attack on the United States.