The Beginning Of the End: Justice Department Takes First Step Towards Government Control of Media
In an unprecedented attack on the Freedom of the Press, the Justice department seized two months of phone records from the Associated Press. The records included things such as outgoing phone records for the work and personal numbers of reporters working for the AP. Also included in the outgoing phone records was general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. All told, the total amount of records taken by the government includes over 20 separate telephone lines for the AP in April and May.
The AP was incensed and demands the return of the records, and the destruction of any copies immediately. In a letter of protest sent to Eric Holder, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt had this to say:
”There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,”
Naturally the Justice Department offered no explanation or reason for the seizure. In fact the AP only got a letter notifying them that the records had been taken. The ACLU spoke out strongly against what they perceived as press intimidation .
“The attorney general must explain the Justice Department’s actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again,” said Laura Murphy, the director of ACLU’s Washington legislative office.
This is how it begins people. This just simply isn’t done. What happens usually, is the Justice Department notifies the news agency of the request for the records. Then the News agency negotiates with the Justice Department. If and that is a big IF, subpoenas are issued, then they are narrowly drawn for specific information not the broad seizure of the AP’s records. Seeming to acknowledge the break of protocol the Justice Department cited a little used exception to the rules, in the letter to the AP, stating that they were exempt from the usual rules if notifying the agency would ”pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.” This is the beginning of censorship and full government control of the press. Don’t attempt to explain this away. There can be no reason for the seizure of a trusted source like the AP, other than because they got a story about a foiled terror plot. The government is watching and is unhappy that so many leaks are getting out. They seem to have forgotten that secrets have a way of coming back to bite you in the ass. Does anyone remember when Obama said he would be the most “transparent” administration in History?
Well I am here to tell you Mr. President you are off to a bad start in 2013. Your administration has lied, and covered up Benghazi evidence, and wiped whole paragraphs out of the CIA reports. Your administration has had the IRS targeting conservatives during the election yet claim no knowledge of it. Now your Justice department headed by YOUR appointee Eric Holder is harassing and seizing the records of a trusted news agency. For what purpose? This smacks of media intimidation. They told the truth about a foiled terror plot and your administration can’t have that. Among the records seized were the phone records of 5 of the agents who worked on that story.
The Obama administration is banking on the fact that the liberal enchantment with him will withstand this type of abuse of power in the name of National Security. Can you imagine the outrage if Bush43′s Justice Department just seized two months worth of phone records for a respected news agency? The screaming would’ve been heard world-wide. Tell me, when will they awaken? They wont. The Obama infatuation is too deep. This administration will take control of the press, and the “good liberals” wont make a peep. When they are left with the government controlled media, and someone they don’t like is in control, it will be too late. This country, was headed in this direction for years. I am very sad to say, that this country is no longer free. When the government can arbitrarily intimidate and harass the media, they own them. That is the beginning of the end.