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Topping Off the Tank: The Los Angeles Times at Year’s End

Saturday, December 31, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Read the Los Angeles Times’ story on the leak investigation. Linger on graph four:

The warrantless spying program has caused an uproar in Congress and among privacy experts, who said the Bush administration might have broken the law by intentionally bypassing the secret federal court that is supposed to oversee sensitive investigations involving suspected espionage and terrorism.

Then note that of the three named sources, two are an ACLU lawyer and Clinton-era Deputy AG Eric Holder, (who was last seen saying “neutral, leaning towards favorable” on the Marc Rich pardon.) Here’s agenda journalism in full bloom:

Unlike the ongoing investigation into disclosures about Plame’s CIA status, this probe is not being run by an independent special prosecutor who is immune to political pressure but by Justice Department officials who work at the discretion of a presidential appointee, Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales.

That prompted some critics Friday to call the probe an attempt to silence internal critics of the administration when they were most needed to bring controversial counter-terrorism programs and policies to light.

“President Bush broke the law and lied to the American people when he unilaterally authorized secret wiretaps of U.S. citizens,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “But rather than focus on this constitutional crisis, Atty. Gen. Gonzales is cracking down on critics of his friend and boss.”

Romero called on Gonzales to appoint a special counsel “to avoid further charges of cronyism.”

This clueless and laughable account would make an otherwise uninformed reader conclude that Bush supporters are unhappy with the investigation –they are very supportive– and that the investigation might somehow damage the president when in fact nearly everyone following the matter assumes the NSA leak came from a Bush enemy.

Most egregious of all the story’s many distortions is the refusal to alert the reader that there are many legal scholars –“privacy experts”– on the side of the president amd his authority to have ordered the surveillance, and that there is strong public support for the NSA surveillance program. You decide if Josh Meyer and his editors are simply incompetent or hard-left MSM Ahabs.

The Times’ seemed to have hit bottom with its embarassing front-page story unknowingly based on an April Fool’s joke, but I should never underestimate the paper’s ability to fall of the floor. It is simply a running joke on anything to do with Washington, D.C.

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