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Did We Mention Already that it's a Conservative Group?

Would you think of the group Judicial Watch, do you think of it targeting any specific administration?

The New York Times certainly does. In an article today, the paper would lead us to believe that the group particularly vexed the Clinton Administration, and only criticized the current administration a little, and only on 9/11 matters. Interestingly enough, this characterization is made in the midst of an article that reflects very poorly on the last administration. Here's what the Times said:

"The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times..." [emphasis mine]

Having firmly established that Judicial Watch is a conservative group the article then embellishes the characterization and leads us down a misleading path.

"Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, was highly critical of President Clinton during his two terms in office. The group has also been critical of some Bush administration actions after the Sept. 11 attacks, releasing documents in March that detailed government efforts to facilitate flights out of the United States for dozens of well-connected Saudis just days after the attacks." [emphasis again mine]

The clear implication is that this is a group that routinely tore into the Clinton administration, but had only nibbled around the edges of the Bush administration. Though Judicial Watch does, in fact, call itself "conservative", it has also been highly critical of the current administration.

Evidently the Times has forgotten that it was Judicial Watch, along with the Sierra Club (hardly a bastion of conservative thought) that took Vice President Cheney all the way to the Supreme Court just last year over documents regarding his national energy task force. I would think that would merit the "highly critical" label and would be enough to erase the "some" qualifier.

It's also worth noting that the Bush administration officially started not even 8 months before the 9/11 attacks, which seems like not quite enough time for a watchdog group to get started in its criticisms. Even so, Judicial Watch's actions have not been directed specifically at events related to 9/11 (such as the energy task force case I already mentioned and this embarassing immigration-related document release) so the paragraph seems more than a little disingenuous.