Carol Platt Liebau: Alter Owes the President an Apology

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Alter Owes the President an Apology

Left wing Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter owes the President an apology. In this regrettable column, he charges that the President was desperate to stop the NY Times from reporting the surveillance only by because "he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker." Actually, Alter only speculates, writing, "[O]ne can only imagine the President's desperation."

Alter refers breathlessly to "National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act." Well, actually, only some lawyers outside the Adminstration say so. Others (see here, here, and here), including the Supreme Court justices in the majority in United States v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan et al, 407 U.S. 297 (1972), apparently disagree with Alter's "lawyers."

Perhaps Alter should also have check out this. He might have known that the special FISA court has "held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information."

Alter needs to brush up on the law and the facts before embarassing himself by setting his partisan rants to paper. A little more fact-checking and a little less imagination would serve him well.

One final point: Alter argues, in response to the President's assertion that exposing the program has helped America's enemies, "there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so." Why? Because he doesn't know of any examples? That's the point of classified information. Look into it.

3 Comments:

Blogger David said...

"Alter needs to brush up on the law and the facts before embarassing himself by setting his partisan rants to paper."

Sadly, Carol, he is probably shameless. Embarassment doesn't come easily to people who are "reality-based" fantasists... or liars or self-made idiots (or all). (And note: I do not have any soecific knowledge which category Alter may fit, though it certainly seems to me he would likely fit at least one.)

1:41 PM  
Blogger gemma said...

Actually all the uproar is, in my opinion, due to the fact that those lefties can't believe that W would act as if he actually believes he's the President for Heaven's sake.....How can he??????

Oh my what a pickle....reality bumps up against their perfect fantasy world.....

4:13 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Gemma posits, "Actually all the uproar is, in my opinion, due to the fact that those lefties can't believe that W would act as if he actually believes he's the President for Heaven's sake."

Almost correct. Actually all of the uproar is due to the fact that those lefties can't believe W would act as if he actually believes he's the KING, for Heaven's sake.

Oh my what a pickle, the President of the United States has decided that he gets to pick and choose which laws he wants to obey.

10:21 PM  

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