Who does James Taranto think he’s fooling with this Best of Web Today?
In the sixth paragraph [ed. note: this story], the AP accurately describes the program: “President Bush authorized warrantless monitoring of international telephone calls and e-mails to or from the United States when one party is believed to be a terrorist or to have terrorist ties.” But in both the headline and the first paragraph, the wire service refers to the monitoring of international communications as “domestic spying.”
Such misreporting–and the AP is far from the only offender–is scurrilous. Moreover, it is potentially threatening to civil liberties. Remember the boy who cried wolf? If a future administration does engage in warrantless domestic wiretapping, how will the AP let us know? Who will believe it is the real thing?
Don’t complain about this illegal spying or we won’t believe you when there really is illegal spying. Nice try, but international telephone calls and e-mails to or from the United States involve a domestic point in a two-point connection. Everyone who isn’t being intentionally obtuse (or dishonest) understands this. I suspect that after six years of this sort of partisan blindness, Taranto actually believes what he’s selling. That wows me more than the unlikely possibility that his silly argument will be accepted by thinking people.