NYT Still Struggles to Understand NSA Program; Ignores History

The folks at the Grey Lady again can't seem to wrap their noggins around the fact that the NSA program is tapping international calls made from this country, AND calls that come in from other countries.

What is so hard to grasp here? Terrorism is a clandestine business. Should we be calling the terrorists we're monitoring to let them know they are being monitored? Have there been any wrongful deaths, convictions or violations in connection with the NSA program? No. Do the American people support it? Yes.

Savor this morsel, from the NYT political pundit / terrorism analyst / foreign policy opinion leader / surveillance expert Eric Lichtblau :

The president authorized the program after the Sept. 11 attacks, allowing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

So within two graphs we have a contradiction between what the reporter thinks is happening and what is actually happening. And as with all journalism- attribution, attribution, attribution. Since administration officials said it, it must be suspect, right Mr. Licthblau? We should just take Al Gore's word for it, then? Didn't the Democrats approve of this during peacetime under the former administration? And again under another Democrat administration?

They did? Where is the expose? Where is the historical context?