Politics

Misinformation On Spying Doesn’t Take A Holiday

National Review’s Mark Levin “informs” his readers today:

Clinton bypassed FISA by extending warrantless searches to include physical searches.

Levin is referring to Clinton’s 2/9/95 executive order and his claim is totally false. First, FISA didn’t cover physical searches at the time, so the executive order did not, and could not, “bypass FISA.” Second, unlike the secret Bush administration program, Clinton’s public executive order did not apply to U.S. persons. If Bush’s program didn’t apply to U.S. persons there would be no controversy at all.

But Levin doesn’t have to read Think Progress to figure this out. He can read his own right-wing magazine. Here’s the National Review’s Byron York five days ago:

In the argument that has emerged over warrantless surveillance, there have been a number of overstatements. Some people, for example, have said that Bill Clinton signed an executive order authorizing such surveillance; he did not.

One clarification: when someone says something that’s not true, it’s not an overstatement, it’s a lie.