Memeorandum has several links to reports from the WASHPOST and the NYTIMES. GIST:
President Bush's rationale for eavesdropping on Americans without warrants rests on questionable legal ground, and Congress does not appear to have given him the authority to order the surveillance, said a Congressional analysis released Friday.This research was done by career bureaucrats who are considered by most to be "non-partisan." They are - however - all career Congressional researchers, and they're biased against the executive branch and for the legislative branch. Besides this, the report was FAR FROM CONCLUSIVE, and their doubts were covered with qualifiers.
UPDATE: POWERLINE has read and analyzed the CRS report and compared it to the "breathless" reportage and found the reportage to be BIASED! (How shocking! heh!):
The Post's coverage of the CRS report is deeply misleading. In fact, the CRS concluded:CONCLUSION: The actual report is NOT NEARLY as damning the the Left-wing dominated MSM and the Left-wing dominated Democrat Party would have you believe. Use this LINK TO THE POWERLINE ARTICLE and RTWT! NOW!
Whether an NSA activity is permissible under the Fourth Amendment and the statutory scheme outlined above is impossible to determine without an understanding of the specific facts involved and the nature of the President's authorization, which are for the most part classified.
The report also acknowledges the legitimacy of the administration's claim that the Constitution gives the President the inherent power to conduct the surveillance in question, regardless of any Congressional action or inaction (more on this later):
Court cases evaluating the legality of warrantless wiretaps for foreign intelligence purposes provide some support for the assertion that the President possesses inherent authority to conduct such surveillance.Where the Post is most mendacious, however, is in the truncated quote that it presents as the CRS's overall conclusion: "The administration's legal justification 'does not seem to be ... well grounded,' they said."
Here is what the CRS actually wrote:
Given such uncertainty, the Administration's legal justification, as presented in the summary analysis from the Office of Legislative Affairs, does not seem to be as well-grounded as the tenor of that letter suggests.So the Post's headline, instead of reading, "Report Rebuts Bush on Spying," should have said, "Report Expresses Uncertainty on Spying."