As you may have heard, a group of five former FISA judges testified before a Congressional committee yesterday regarding Bush's illegal wiretap program. A couple of articles showed up in the MSM about the hearings - the most incendiary of which showed up in the Washington Times with the breathless title, "FISA Judges say Bush within law." Remember... this is the Washington Times we're talking about here, not the Post. Pretty much the equivalent of getting your news from the New York Post, Faux "News", Bill O'Reilly, the National Inquirer or that guy who hangs out at the railroad tracks all day drinking Thunderbird and screaming about how the aliens stole his hat.
This didn't slow down John "hindrocket" Hinderaker at Powerline from quickly posting a blog entry called "Verdict: The New York Times Blew the Story."
First of all, before even getting to what the judges providing testimony actually said, let's remember that there is no "verdict" to discuss here. This wasn't a court case of any sort rendering a decision on the legality of the program. These were former judges providing expert testimony to a committee hearing... nothing more.
As to the actual 100 plus page transcript of the testimony, I have neither the time, patience or energy to read through all of it myself. Fortunately for us, Glenn Greenwald made the time to do so and provides some clarity in his piece, "What the FISA judges really said."
I'm not going try to extract any choice passages, even to give you a starting point. I encourage you to go read Glenn's piece in full and have that information in your hip pocket the next time some rabid Bushco fan tries to bring up Powerline's disingenuous spin as some sort of fact. Suffice it to say that the judges never, at any point, stated that the wiretap program was legal, and in fact went on to say that, at a minimum, the president was on very shaky ground in trying to do this. The spin from Hinderaker on this one goes beyond the level of distorting the coverage to make Bush look good and encroaches on the realm out straight out mendacity.