Accuracy in Media

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who serves as the House Minority Leader has been accused by TIME magazine columnist Joe Klein of being “engaged in a small but cheesy bit of deception.” What did Pelosi do? She recently released a letter that she wrote on October 11, 2001 to then NSA director General Michael V. Hayden. In the letter she expressed concern that Hayden was not acting with “specific presidential authorization.” with regard to steps that he was taking in tracking down al-Qaeda terrorists after 9/11.

Hayden responded in he was acting under a 1981 Executive Order granting his agency certain powers. As Klein points out, a 2002 Joint Intelligence Committee investigation found that the NSA wasn’t doing as much as it should have under the law. They also found that our intelligence community operated in a hypercautious defensive crouch. According to Klein the Bush Administration was concerned about what more Hayden could do and asked him to push the limits of existing technology to come up with the best possible program to track terrorists. The result is the now widely publicized NSA data-mining operation which began in 2002.

Klein complains that Pelosi’s letter which ran on the front page of the New York Times and the story that accompanied it (Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show”) gave the false impression that Hayden launched the program on his own and that Pelosi had protested it. But the program didn’t exist when she wrote the letter. When Klein asked Pelosi about this, she told him “Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, It’s all fruit.”

Thank you Congresswomen Pelosi for clearing that up.

So where is the media on this? They rushed to report on her letter and made Pelosi look like she discovered a smoking gun. Yet as far as I can tell there hasn’t been a peep from the mainstream press pointing out the timeline discrepancy that Klein discovered and I’m not holding my breath that they will.

My mother used to say eat your vegetables, I say Congresswoman Pelosi, eat more fruit.

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