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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Compelling vs. Factual
Topic: NewsBusters
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard complained the no TV network "did justice to the extraordinarily compelling description of the NSA eavesdropping program" by former NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden. NBC was singled out by Sheppard for ignoring "the most compelling statement made today by Gen. Hayden: 'Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al Qaeda operatives in the United States, and we would have identified them as such.'"

But "compelling," alas, is not the same as "factual." As Media Matters notes, Hayden never substantiates his claim that warrantless wiretapping would have prevented 9/11, and that the U.S. had information in hand that could have stopped 9/11 had bureaucratic snafus not gotten in the way.

A lot of things are compelling, but that doesn't make them factual. Doesn't Sheppard know that yet?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST

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