Sen. Pat "leaky" Leahy played fast and loose with the truth on the PBS Newshour show, claiming that the US had a "torture policy" that was found "illegal." If he is referring to "coerced interrogation," I don't know of any court ruling that called it "illegal." Violations of that policy have been prosecuted, however, as in Abu Ghraib. It is important to note that Abu Ghraib was being prosecuted over 3 months before it was broken in the media. The interrogation policy has been modified, but was never found illegal, or called "torture" under the law. Sen. Leahy was spinning BS, and nothing more. This was an "off the cuff" remark, during a segment about the newest NSA "story." Why he linked these two issues is a mystery, unless you hate the Bush administration. Then it all makes sense!
Earlier the same day, I heard Rep. Harold Ford, on Fox News, say that the NSA may be "monitoring" every phone call in the USA, both international and domestic. However, USA Today, who "broke" this four-month old NY Times story, clearly states (In a sidebar on page FIVE) that the NSA is collecting phone numbers into a database, not even the names that these numbers belong to, much less their content. Though John Gibson called him on it more than once, Rep. Ford kept asserting that the NSA "MAY BE" listening to any and all phone calls inside the US, without citing anything other than the USA Today story.
THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED SPINNING BULL$#IT! THE DEMS TAKE A VAGUE MEDIA ALLEGATION, AND REPEAT IT UNTIL IT IS ACCEPTED AS TRUTH BY PEOPLE WHO DON'T FOLLOW UP ON THE ACCURACY OF THEIR STATEMENTS!
-At least Mr. Gibson's "Big Story" show's next two guests after Rep. Ford both pointed out his misleading statements. On the "Newshour," Sen. Leahy's remark was in the closing seconds of the segment, with no time for Sen. Kit Bond to respond.
PS: I have a future post coming about the Lehrer Newshour's lurch to the left, since the addition of Judy Woofwoof (my affectionate nickname), late of CNN's Inside Politics! Fail upward, Judy! You can be the next Bill Moyers! (No offense, Mr. Lehrer. You're just a damn sight fairer than either Mr. Moyers, or Ms. Woodruff.)