Journalists fume over DOJ raid on AP - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.comFox News’ Greta Van Susteren told POLITICO in an email that the DOJ’s seizure “sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media,” not a criminal investigation.
“What is stunning is the breadth of the seizure!” Van Susteren said. “If you read the AP President’s letter to DOJ, and if his letter is accurate, the seizure was very broad: 2 months of telephone records involving many who work at AP! 20 phone lines, home and cell? NY, DC, Connecticut employees? That doesn’t sound like a criminal investigation, that sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media. The US Attorney’s issued statement about the secret seizure was blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t say anything. The DOJ better be following the law and the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s John King — who worked for the AP for 12 years — questioned on “The Situation Room” whether the government may have crossed “a line” and done “something inappropriate” with its seizure of the phone records. The AP, he said, “is justifiably outraged.”
“This very chilling, this is very chilling,” he said on CNN. “The government gets angry about leaks of classified information. I understand that, and they have ways to investigate them. But did they cross a line here? Did they do something inappropriate here, did they possibly do something that went over legal barriers here? When this happens, however it happens, it sends a chilling message from the government to people in our business and the AP, I think, is justifiably outraged.”
The AP’s president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, called the action “a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of The Associated Press.”
“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” Pruitt wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday.
And CNN’s Wolf Blitzer noted that “all of us as journalists react negatively when we hear these stories” and asked CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger about the legality behind the DOJ’s action.
“Although if you look it from the other side, if there was a serious leak about an al-Qaeda operation or whatever, they’re trying to find out who may be leaking this information to the news media, do they occasionally have the right to secretly monitor our phone calls?” Blitzer asked.
“That’s a matter up for discussion,” Borger replied. I remember during the Scooter Libby stuff during the Bush administration, there were phone records, there were e-mails, et cetera, et cetera. So, you know, I think this is chilling for journalists because you have to have that kind of privacy in order to do your work.”
Several journalists also tweeted their reactions to the AP story, with the New York Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan calling the report “disturbing” and Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post, dubbing it “shocking, disturbing.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, meanwhile, asked in response to the story, “What is going on with this administration?” And Markos Moulitsas, founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog, wrote to his followers, “People looking for an Obama scandal, this one spying on the AP is the first legit one.”
this morning, before the doj's violation of the ap
ron fournier, longtime ap washington bureau chief, now editor of elite left national journal:
Benghazi, IRS Create Perfect Storm Threatening Obama's Credibility - NationalJournal.comWhen two storms collide, the weather gets hairy. For President Obama, the IRS and Benghazi stories converged this weekend for a self-inflicted tempest that threatens his credibility.
His people can’t get their stories straight.
Internal Revenue Service officials denied for months the targeting of conservative political groups for reviews of their tax exempt status. With investigators poised to expose the chilling operation, a high-ranking IRS official acknowledged it late last week and apologized for it.
The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware. That appears to be untrue. The Associated Press reported Saturday that senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report.
Politicizing the IRS threatens the integrity of an agency entrusted with Americans' secrets and the taxes that fund government.
On Benghazi, the president’s U.N. ambassador said five days after the Libya attack that the incident grew out of a street protest rather than a terrorist attack. Caught fudging the facts in the middle of a presidential campaign, a race in which Obama’s anti-terrorism record was a major selling point, the White House blamed Ambassador Susan Rice’s statement on “talking points” concocted by the CIA in virtual isolation.
Obama’s team stuck with that story until the truth was exposed amid a GOP congressional investigation. Emails leaked to news organizations last week show that both the White House and State Department were directly involved in scrubbing the CIA talking points of any mention of past threats and al-Qaida involvement. That is the exact opposite of what the Obama White House had claimed.
Inexplicably, White House spokesman Jay Carney refused late Friday to acknowledge the contradiction.
Even worse, Obama himself ignored his administration's obfuscations today, and instead called the debate over shifting explanations "a sideshow." At the news conference, he turned the tables on GOP critics and accused them of playing "political games."
Why does this matter? Because a president’s credibility matters. Obama missed a chance on Benghazi today to convince Americans that he is still worthy of their trust.
To do so, he may need to do more than to promise to bolster embassy security and to shut down the IRS targeting operation. He may need to forcefully condemn the half-truths and distortions disseminated under his name.
He may need to fire people who can’t get his story straight.
and ap makes three
LOL!Ron Fournier is one of those neocon types
oh, absolutely, a closet romney-ite, maybe even mormon
National Journal Topics | NationalJournal.com
more neocon nonsense:
AP Phone Records Seized By Justice Department As War On Leaks Continues/HuffingtonPostSeveral prominent journalists have expressed concerns over the Obama administration's aggressive means of investigating unsanctioned leaks to reporters.
Jonathan Landay, a national security reporter with McClatchy newspapers, told HuffPost last month that "people who normally would meet with me, sort of in a more relaxed atmosphere, are on pins and needles" because of the crackdown on leakers. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer said at the time that "part of the problem" with regards to the government's ongoing leaks crackdown "stems from the technology revolution."
"It's a lot easier now for the government to spy on Internet and phone communication than it was in the past," Mayer said. "So, all together, I worry that the public may not be getting critical national security information about which it has a right to know."
holder is to testify in house judiciary wednesday
Last edited by The Prof; 05-14-13 at 12:14 AM.