Breaking: Most Journalists Mis-Report Release of OLC Memos

President Obama has finally — after 2 years and 14 requests — agreed to let the intelligence committees see the Office of Legal Counsel Memos that authorize the lethal targeting of US citizens.

Kudos to Ron Wyden for having the tenacity to see that this, at least, happened.

But as big a story as this is, perhaps an equally significant story is the way it is being misreported.

First, even though quotes of Obama and direct statements from Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden refer to memos, plural, people persist in reporting that there is one memo.

Second, in spite of the fact that Obama has only acceded to letting the two Intelligence Committees have access to the memos, most media outlets are reporting that “Congress” will get the memos. Congress consists of 535 people elected by citizens. The Intelligence Committees consist of 35 people selected by party leaders. Among those 35 are Michelle Bachmann and Lynn Westmoreland.

And while on the Senate side, non-Intelligence Committee Senators can usually arrange to see such classified materials, it at least used to be that on the House side Members had to ask politely. And even still, the most responsible reporters are saying terms of this kind of access is still to be determined.

Ah well. At least 35 men and women can know what might get you and I killed. But you and I aren’t allowed to know yet.

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4 Responses to Breaking: Most Journalists Mis-Report Release of OLC Memos

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro ....very much do not. Maybe legal whiz kid Barro can weigh in. Won't hold my breath, cause I don't think he's up to it
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro That said, the Burwell case has problems on the merits I very much think unilateral Exec Action in face of Art 1 §7-8
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro Yes, that ruling has been patently obvious from the get go under AZ Redistricting discussion, and frankly, long before
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro No, I think under Art I Section 7, the House, alone, very arguably has its own jurisdiction+standing without Senate.
emptywheel @dandrezner Fed appointments would be damned sexy, I agree. @andersoncooper
emptywheel @dandrezner Do you even think O'Malley would be prepped to talk sanctions? "I'll do a white paper on that in 6 months." There. Sanctions.
emptywheel @onekade And they have their own get together for shits and giggles only to talk about crazy ACLU types.
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro Think you probably remember it, but I have posited that the 14th Amend "issue" is illusory at best.
emptywheel @jvagle In any case the cannabis corner is still unclaimed if you want it. @onekade
bmaz @mucha_carlos @jbarro The House leadership would have clear standing on that.
February 2013
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