Couric Cites Terrorist Lawyer's Claim Of Bush's "Crime"

In attacking White House counselor Dan Bartlett over the NSA's surveillance of al Qaeda suspects, Katie Couric went as far as to cite a convicted terrorist's lawyer's claim of Bush's "crime." In the 7am half hour of this morning's Today, Couric noted "that many people believe that the President broke the law," and then went on to quote from George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley that Bush's order, "was a crime." However Couric failed to mention that Turley is currently part of a convicted terrorist's appeal process, a terrorist who once cheered the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Following David Gregory's setup piece Couric pounced on Bartlett:

Couric: "Well continuing the discussion does Osama Bin Laden and his threats justify spying? The administration seems to be, as you well know Dan, pulling out all the stops to justify this eavesdropping program but that doesn't change the fact that many people believe that the President broke the law? For example law professor Jonathan Turley of GW told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday quote, 'What the President ordered in this case was a crime.' What's your reaction?"

Couric continued this line of questioning but also managed to find time to squeeze in the latest Bush attack line, hanging him with the Jack Abramoff scandal:

Couric: "Okay Dan let's move on now to Jack Abramoff, the once powerful lobbyist who pled guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. He's now cooperating with prosecutors as you know. Time magazine is reporting this week that a reporter from that magazine has seen at least five photographs of Abramoff with the President and one of President Bush with Abramoff's children. Now the President doesn't recall meeting him but in light of this development how would you characterize their relationship?"

The following are all of Couric's questions to Barlett:

Couric: "Well continuing the discussion does Osama Bin Laden and his threats justify spying? The administration seems to be, as you well know Dan, pulling out all the stops to justify this eavesdropping program but that doesn't change the fact that many people believe that the President broke the law? For example law professor Jonathan Turley of GW told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday quote, 'What the President ordered in this case was a crime.' What's your reaction?"[Bartlett]

Couric, citing her favorite RINOs McCain and Specter: "Well Dan apparently not everyone agrees with that. Last week a legal analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service concluded that the administration's limited briefings for Congress were quote, 'inconsistent with the law.' John McCain has suggested that the White House should sit down with members of Congress and discuss changing the laws. On Fox News Sunday he said, 'I know of no member of Congress, frankly, who, if the administration came and said here's why we need this capability, that they wouldn't get it.' Furthermore Arlen Specter, Republican plans to hold hearings on this. So everyone is not on the same page in terms of the legality of the President's actions. Would you concede that's true?"

[Bartlett]

Couric: "Well then why is this non-partisan Congressional Research Service saying that your limited briefings for Congress were inconsistent with the law, Dan?"

[Bartlett]

Couric: "So in closing on this subject you have no regrets about how the White House has proceeded thus far?"

[Bartlett]

Couric: "Okay."

[Bartlett]

Couric: "Okay Dan let's move on now to Jack Abramoff, the once powerful lobbyist who pled guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. He's now cooperating with prosecutors as you know. Time magazine is reporting this week that a reporter from that magazine has seen at least five photographs of Abramoff with the President and one of President Bush with Abramoff's children. Now the President doesn't recall meeting him but in light of this development how would you characterize their relationship?"

[Bartlett]

Couric: "Dan Bartlett, counselor to the President. Dan thanks so much for talking with us this morning."

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