Fox News' Jim Angle falsely claimed that Democrats initially objected to the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program because they opposed eavesdropping on people believed to be tied to terrorist activity but then made a "shift in strategy" to argue, as Charles Krauthammer put it, "a narrow issue of legality." Krauthammer further suggested that Democrats engaged in a "wholesale retreat" after recognizing that "opposing the idea of listening in on an Al Qaeda call into the U.S. is not a political winner."
Bill O'Reilly again denied that he endorsed an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco.
In a New York Times op-ed, former National Security Council senior director Philip Bobbitt appeared to contradict the 9-11 Commission by suggesting that restrictions on electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) prevented the U.S. from identifying the hijackers who later committed the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
ABC's World News Tonight uncritically reported President Bush's discredited claim that the National Security Agency might have identified some of the 9-11 terrorists before the attacks if his warrantless domestic surveillance program had been in place.
In his Washington Times column, Donald Lambro repeated a number of falsehoods about the domestic spying scandal.
An Associated Press article described the debate over the NSA spying program as "whether the administration should be able to eavesdrop on suspected terrorist communications" and reported that "congressional Democrats" have criticized this practice. However, critics of the program have not contested that the administration "should be able to eavesdrop on suspected terrorist communications." Rather, the controversy concerns whether the president is legally authorized to allow the domestic eavesdropping without first obtaining a warrant.
In his speech before the National Security Agency, President Bush repeated a debunked claim, previously reported uncritically by some in the media, that his warrantless domestic spying program could have identified some of the 9-11 hijackers. Bush's repetition of the claim gives the media another opportunity to examine it critically in their reporting.
Many news outlets have uncritically repeated Gen. Michael Hayden's claim that the administration's warrantless spying program would have detected some of the 9-11 attackers.
Numerous media outlets repeated without challenge White House senior adviser Karl Rove's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in which Rove falsely claimed that "some important Democrats clearly disagree" with the proposition that "if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why." In fact, no leading Democrat has said that it is not in our interest to monitor Al Qaeda's communications.
CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve interviewed Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), about the department's decision not to raise the national threat level following Osama bin Laden's recent warning of future attacks against the United States. However, Meserve failed to ask Ridge an obvious question about his 2005 admission that, while head of the DHS, he had regularly been pressured by the Bush administration to raise the threat level even though he did not believe that the intelligence warranted it.
On MSNBC's Hardball, National Review White House correspondent Byron York claimed that Osama bin Laden, in a 2004 videotape, "suggested that ... if states vote against Bush, then we'll [Al Qaeda] protect you in the future." York's comment was apparently based on a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute indicating that bin Laden threatened the individual U.S. states not to vote for President Bush, but that translation has been disputed by numerous scholars and experts.
Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron said, regarding Osama bin Laden's offer of a truce in a newly released audiotape: "Even the chairman of the national Democratic Party, Howard Dean, said the U.S. should never negotiate with terrorists."
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A New York Times article characterized the National Security Agency's domestic spying program as "eavesdrop[ping] on some international calls involving people in the United States." However, the exact scope and dimensions of the program remain unclear, and there is evidence that it intercepted communications in which all parties were located in the United States.
Both the AP and Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume reported on a White House event in which U.S. attorneys appeared and spoke in favor of President Bush's efforts to renew controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act. However, both media outlets omitted the fact that all of the U.S. attorneys participating are Bush appointees.
Fox News' Stuart Varney said that The New York Times "will do anything to undermine President Bush politically, including undermining the security of the country," and then referred to an unscientific poll to suggest that 96 percent of Americans want warrantless wiretapping.