Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Time’s false balancing act


Earlier this week, Time magazine’s Joe Klein asserted that Democrats wanted to reform FISA in a way that “would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans.” After Glenn Greenwald noted the false accusations made by Klein, Time has finally posted a “correction”:

In the original version of this story, Joe Klein wrote that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would allow a court review of individual foreign surveillance targets. Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don’t.

Time has helpfully informed us that Democrats don’t agree with Republicans that their bill is providing terrorists equal rights as Americans. Jane Hamsher writes, “Shorter Time Magazine: Equal Time For GOP Propaganda.” Glenn Greenwald writes, “All Time can say about this matter is that Republicans say one thing and Democrats claim another. Who is right? Is one side lying? … Here, there are not two sides; the bill could not be clearer.” Kos points to the relevant text of the Restore Act:


Sec. 105A. (a) Foreign to Foreign Communications-

(1) IN GENERAL - Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a court order is not required for electronic surveillance directed at the acquisition of the contents of any communication between persons that are not known to be United States persons and are reasonably believed to be located outside the United States for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the United States or the surveillance device is located within the United States.

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