Justice & Civil Liberties

Issues ››› Justice & Civil Liberties
  • Garrett misrepresented Lieberman quote on domestic wiretapping

    ››› ››› JOE BROWN

    Fox News correspondent Major Garrett cropped a quote from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to present a misleading account of Lieberman's view of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program. Garrett reported that Lieberman said he "supports the surveillance" and called it "a critically important program to the prevention of terrorist acts." But Garrett cut out a key part of Lieberman's statement, in which he said, "I don't believe that [the administration has] operated within the law as it exists."

  • CNN's Blitzer failed to challenge Gonzales spin on Guantánamo

    ››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

    In an interview with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Gonzales's dubious claim that "if the need were not there for the United States of America to detain people that we catch on the battlefield, then we would not be having to operate" the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Blitzer could have noted recent news reports pointing out that many -- if not a majority -- were not caught by American soldiers on the battlefield but turned over to the U.S. by third parties.

  • Matthews claimed Hillary Clinton's voter data operation "just like" NSA's warrantless domestic spying

    ››› ››› JOE BROWN

    MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed that a recently reported data-mining initiative led by Harold Ickes -- an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) -- is "just like we saw the NSA doing" in conjunction with President Bush's controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program. But the initiative run by Ickes, according to news reports, relies on commercially and publicly available information that Republicans have used for years in their data operations. Matthews made no mention of these Republican operations.

  • WSJ editorial claimed GOP senators "mugg[ed]" White House in wiretapping agreement

    ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

    A Wall Street Journal editorial described a recent agreement between GOP Senate Intelligence Committee members and the Bush administration concerning its warrantless domestic surveillance program as a "White House mugging by Republicans." However, far from a "mugging," the agreement essentially legitimizes the controversial program, which currently operates in apparent violation of the law.

  • CBS' Borger misrepresented Republican bill, claiming it "sets firm new limits" on warrantless spying

    ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

    CBS correspondent Gloria Borger misrepresented the terms of new legislation, reportedly agreed to by Senate Republicans and the White House, affecting the administration's domestic spying program. Borger reported that in order to conduct warrantless surveillance under the new legislation, the president would first be required to "explain why he needs to eavesdrop to a newly created congressional subcommittee." In fact, the legislation as reported would let the president authorize warrantless surveillance of Americans for up to 45 days without informing Congress.

  • NY Times misrepresented GOP domestic spying proposal as "reinforc[ing]" FISA court's authority

    ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

    The New York Times reported that the recent agreement between the White House and Republican senators concerning the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program "would reinforce the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court." In fact, the reported agreement, if it is introduced as legislation, would codify the program's status outside the reach of the court.

  • Distorting Wash. Post report, Gibson claimed Democratic senators are "teed up for lie detector tests" in NSA leak investigation

    ››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

    Fox News' John Gibson misrepresented a Washington Post article to baselessly claim that Democratic senators are "teed up for lie detector tests" in an FBI investigation into the disclosure of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program. In fact, the Post reported that the Bush administration's efforts to curb leaks have included "a polygraph investigation inside the CIA," not among members of Congress.

  • Hyman selectively quoted, distorted NYT editorials on Clinton FBI files scandal

    ››› ››› JOE BROWN

    Sinclair Broadcast Group commentator Mark Hyman selectively quoted Clinton-era editorials from The New York Times to support his false claim that the Times dismissed as "a simple mistake" the acquisition by a Clinton administration official of the FBI background reports of Republican former White House officials, an incident that became known as "Filegate." In fact, the Times editorial board stated that "[i]t remains hard to believe that these Democratic Party operatives accidentally stumbled onto" the FBI background documents. Hyman made his false claim in support of his assertion that the Times editors "had a different opinion" of domestic spying when it came to Filegate compared with their opinion of President Bush's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, which they have criticized.

  • Media ignore differences in DeWine surveillance proposals

    ››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

    Despite multiple reports on the subject, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press have ignored several important issues concerning a proposal by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) to resolve any potential legal problems involving the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program by crafting legislation that would exempt the program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

  • NY Times baselessly reported that Democrats "have called for the [FISA] law to be revamped"

    ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In an article about potential congressional hearings on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program, The New York Times reported that "Democrats and a growing number of Republicans [who] say the eavesdropping violates" the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) "have called for the law to be revamped." But the article did not cite any Democrats who have expressed this view, and the available evidence suggests otherwise.