Now the Obama administration is targeting reporters? WTF!?!?
And so the final curtain falls on the myth of what was supposed to be, in its own words, the "most transparent administration" in history.
As it turns out, the big Friday story of Bloomberg journalists snooping on its clients was just amateur hour compared to what the AP was about to serve. In fact, the Watergate affair may soon appear like a walk in the park compared to the First Amendment shitstorm that is about to be unleashed following the just reported news that the US Department of Justice had "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news."
First amendment? Freedom of speech and press? Surely not when it comes to the Nobel-peace prize winning President and those who dare to expose his secret ways.
And what's worst, is that the AP breach has all the makings of a spiteful hack driven by personal vengeance against one of America's premier news outlets.
We can't wait to see the rest of the not so conservative media stands up in arms and defend one of their peers against an administration whose utter disdain for all checks and balances puts Stalinist Russia to shame. Or perhaps it will be merely a case of "first they came for AP's reporters, and we said nothing..."
And while it has long been known that the NSA actively intercepts and records every single form of electronic communication, the unspoken truth is that the government can do anything it wants as long as it doesn't get caught. It just did, and not only in Benghazi, or the IRS fiasco, but in making a complete mockery of the First Amendment.
As the NSA whistleblower told Wired Magazine over a year ago, “we are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state", all we can add is "we are now in a full-blown totalitarian state."
And nobody cares.
The AP story which must be read to be believed:
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
"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," Pruitt said.
The government would not say why it sought the records. U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.
In testimony in February, CIA Director John Brennan noted that the FBI had questioned him about whether he was AP's source, which he denied. He called the release of the information to the media about the terror plot an "unauthorized and dangerous disclosure of classified information."
Prosecutors have sought phone records from reporters before, but the seizure of records from such a wide array of AP offices, including general AP switchboards numbers and an office-wide shared fax line, is unusual and largely unprecedented.
In the letter notifying the AP received Friday, the Justice Department offered no explanation for the seizure, according to Pruitt's letter and attorneys for the AP. The records were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year although the government letter did not explain that. None of the information provided by the government to the AP suggested the actual phone conversations were monitored.
Among those whose phone numbers were obtained were five reporters and an editor who were involved in the May 7, 2012 story.
The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media and has brought six cases against people suspected of leaking classified information, more than under all previous presidents combined.
Justice Department published rules require that subpoenas of records from news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained though subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.
Spokesmen in Machen's office and at the Justice Department had no immediate comment on Monday.
The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can only be considered after "all reasonable attempts" have been made to get the same information from other sources, the rules say. It was unclear what other steps, in total, the Justice Department has taken to get information in the case.
A subpoena to the media must be "as narrowly drawn as possible" and "should be directed at relevant information regarding a limited subject matter and should cover a reasonably limited time period," according to the rules.
The reason for these constraints, the department says, is to avoid actions that "might impair the news gathering function" because the government recognizes that "freedom of the press can be no broader than the freedom of reporters to investigate and report the news."
News organizations normally are notified in advance that the government wants phone records and enter into negotiations over the desired information. In this case, however, the government, in its letter to the AP, cited an exemption to those rules that holds that prior notification can be waived if such notice, in the exemption's wording, might "pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation."
It is unknown whether a judge or a grand jury signed off on the subpoenas.
The May 7, 2012, AP story that disclosed details of the CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot occurred around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.
The plot was significant because the White House had told the public it had "no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the (May 2) anniversary of bin Laden's death."
The AP delayed reporting the story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security. Once government officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP disclosed the plot because officials said it no longer endangered national security. The Obama administration, however, continued to request that the story be held until the administration could make an official announcement.
The May 7 story was written by reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman with contributions from reporters Kimberly Dozier, Eileen Sullivan and Alan Fram. They and their editor, Ted Bridis, were among the journalists whose April-May 2012 phone records were seized by the government.
Brennan talked about the AP story and leaks investigation in written testimony to the Senate. "The irresponsible and damaging leak of classified information was made ... when someone informed the Associated Press that the U.S. Government had intercepted an IED (improvised explosive device) that was supposed to be used in an attack and that the U.S. Government currently had that IED in its possession and was analyzing it," he said.
He also defended the White House's plan to discuss the plot immediately afterward. "Once someone leaked information about interdiction of the IED and that the IED was actually in our possession, it was imperative to inform the American people consistent with Government policy that there was never any danger to the American people associated with this al-Qa'ida plot," Brennan told senators.
Updates via Politico:
Pruitt's full letter to Attorney General Holder:
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.
We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.
The Dept. of Justice has released the following statement:
We take seriously our obligations to follow all applicable laws, federal regulations, and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations. Those regulations require us to make every reasonable effort to obtain information through alternative means before even considering a subpoena for the phone records of a member of the media. We must notify the media organization in advance unless doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation. Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws.
House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa has released the following statement:
This is obviously disturbing. Coming within a week of revelations that the White House lied to the American people about the Benghazi attacks and the IRS targeted conservative Americans for their political beliefs, Americans should take notice that top Obama Administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don’t have to answer to anyone. I will work with my fellow House Chairmen on an appropriate response to Obama Administration officials.
Wow this site is infested with FReeper shitstains today.
Oh the pathetic life of the desperate freeper shitstain.
Reporting facts about the Obama administration using devious and illegal tactics to investigate legitimate news reporters is not "Freeperish".
In fact, refusing to call for him to explain these activities, or defending them outright, is far more freeperistic.
Giving him a pass on this means the next time a Rethuglican president does the same then we have no right to criticize.
I'M SO CONCERNED!
I am so full from eating Obama's bowel movements!
Those who assume that the Tea Party is made up of a bunch of crazies may be interested in learning that - despite the divide-and-conquer tricks that the mainstream media peddles - the Occupy movement and the Tea Party were originally protesting the exact same things: the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big government and big corporations, and the destruction to our economy caused by the unchecked power of the Federal Reserve.
Good for Obama! Lord knows the media has been targeting him for years. Payback never felt so good. I hope he convicts them ALL!
Get rid of Holder.
Revoke the Patriot Act.
And Libertarians are still complete fucking idiots.
Is this some sort of fake scandal? Another 90s impeachment distraction?
THANK YOU, R8!!!
Anyone who can't see that the differences between Rs and Ds is so small you can't fit a pre-1963 dime between them!
They both serve the banks, big corps and the Billionaire class. The rest of us are fucked.
The part that scares these parasites in DC is this- the ultra left and ultra right are finding common ground.
They are both-
Opposed the military being used as police for the world.
Ready to end the "War on (some) Drugs" and the unjust incarceration of so many young black men.
Unwilling to send money to countries halfway around the world (when people are starving in the US) since they know that money is just being used to line the pockets of petty dictators.
Interested in understanding how the government is destroying the dollar, and when where the debasement end.
The fact that both of the "extreme" fringes of politics support all of these things...well it scares the shit out of the "moderates" that shill for TPTB. Once the "far left" and "far right" (Total misnomers, but you get the drift) unite and begin working together to get our common causes fixed (end the overseas invasions, restructure the health care and retirement systems, stop putting people in jail for drugs, break the "TBTFail" banks into small regional banks with competing currencies, and basically devolve all Federal powers to the regional/state/county level and allow REAL innovation to take place.
This, of course, is a pipe dream. The parasites that we have installed at the top will do anything to retain and expand their power. Well, until the whole system begins to break down because interest rates rose 1%, and bread and milk doubled in price, and those "We Buy Gold" stores refuse to sell any stash due to the breakdown in the "paper gold" market. That's when things REALLY get interesting!
I'm so glad I bought gold in the late 90s and early aughts--- even if I'm wrong, I've still got enough to live on for a decade or two.
R12 is thanking R8, yet Troll-dar reveals that R12 IS R8 (and R1 and R2 and R5). The paid freepers who invade this site always fuck up because they don't understand what Troll-dar is.
Why are you thanking yourself, R12?
R12, you've been busted. That's a lot of talking to yourself. Seek help.
Man this thread is piss yellow.
This is way worse than the IRS business, which is not that egregious, compared to what they did during Bush's presidency.
If this is true, then Holder must go. And R10 is right, can that damn Patriot's Act.
I admit I am the OP and R1, 2, 5 and 12 but r8 is NOT mine.
Oh, I'm sure the GOP will be calling for the [bold]IMMEDIATE[/bold] repeal of the Patriot Act.
[quote] I admit I am the OP and R1, 2, 5 and 12 but [R8] is NOT mine.
You still don't understand what Troll-dar is, do you?
Get him girls.
Must be his evil twin.
What a complete idiot.
This is great! Of course there isn't enough for Obama to be impeached, but I do love any scandal that gets the extremes of either party frothing at the mouth. You can practically hear the heads exploding.
Sure, R24, it's great that this distracts from real work to be done.
Since they don't seem to do any work I'm not too concerned about the distraction
That makes sense, R24/R26.
We know who you are.
Libertarians are so cute. They talk like actually have a coherent political platform!
"Wow this site is infested with FReeper shitstains today."
I'm not a freeper. I'm very disappointed in Obama on several counts at the same time I often stick up for him on the bullshit he gets from freepers that's not justified (Benghazi for instance).
But there are several things about this administration that piss me off, and this is one of them.
Do you r27?
R31. Tell me, little girl, who do you think I am sugar dumpling?
Thank god America has a ton of minorities in it, or the country would all side with Republicans, and demand Obama's resignation. White America is easy to sway.
This has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with the fact that our government (thanks to Bush the Lesser) can now tap our phones, read our emails and monitor us 24/7.
When so-called "liberals" start calling out Obama and his cohorts for abusing their powers and violating our 1st, 4th and 5th amendment rights then I will cheer for you, but for now you're just fascists of a different color.
Thank God for Ron Paul and libertarians- they're the only people who consistently raised hell about this kind of abuse.
POLITICO – Larry Conners, a veteran local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, says that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting him since an April 2012 interview he conducted with President Obama — a fact that he dismissed as coincidence until the recent reports about the IRS targeting conservative groups.
“Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS. I don’t accept ‘conspiracy theories’, but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me,” Connors wrote on his Facebook page late Monday night.
Connors did not specify how the IRS has been “hammering” him. He did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.
According to his account, his questions for Obama touched on the economy and spending but were not exceptional in nature. But following “allegations that the IRS focused on various groups and/or individuals questioning or criticizing government spending, taxes, debt or how the government is run,” Connors now believes there may be a possible connection.
“Can I prove it? At this time, no,” he wrote. “But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.”
[quote]Connors did not specify how the IRS has been “hammering” him. He did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.
Gee, I wonder why? It's hilarious how you uncritically and unquestioningly accept every conspiracy theory and story that you read on those sites you frequent.
[quote]Thank God for Ron Paul and libertarians- they're the only people who consistently raised hell about this kind of abuse.
Of course there's that thing about Ron Paul being a racist who prefers women barefoot and pregnant, but apart from that he's all for freedom! Really & truly!
Libertarians are...endlessly amusing.
[quote]who prefers women barefoot and pregnant
[quote]Wow this site is infested with FReeper shitstains today.
Yes because Daniel Ellsberg and Chris Hedges are both "freepers".
Boy this crowd is desperate and dangerously ignorant.
Relax OP. The Obama Administration is NOT targeting reporters. Stop believing everything you read in the right-wing press.
In this particular case, it's not a "freeper," R39. It's a libertarian/gun nut/anarchist/Ron Paul devotee/gold bug/anti-Fed/conspiracy theorist. Just laugh at him and move on. You can't have a serious discussion with someone like that.
Here ya go R38:
[quote]Ron Paul, the conservative congressman from Texas known for his small-government beliefs rooted in Libertarianism, told an audience Monday in Iowa that government should dictate what happens in the womb of pregnant women.
[quote]Speaking at the Iowa Family Leader's presidential lecture series in Sioux City, Paul, an obstetrician and a Christian, explained that he disagreed with the popular belief that to be a Libertarian means having a laissez faire attitude of "it's the woman's body; she can do whatever she wants."
[quote]"Life comes from our creator, not our government," Politico reported Paul as saying. "Liberty comes from our creator, not from government. Therefore, the purpose, if there is to be a purpose, for government is to protect life and liberty."
So tough luck womens! The gummint can keep you pregnant as long as they want, because freedom(TM).
Ron Paul can call himself whatever he wants, but he is still in favor of restricting our reproductive freedoms.
Bradley Manning however is not a Libertarian or a Republican. But he is in jail.
It boggles the mind that there are people who are not enraged by the Patriot Act or the Espionage Act or wiretapping or drones or the indictment and professional destruction of whistleblower Tom Drake and still think they are progressives. All because a Liberatarian said something that left wing liberals ALL agree with unanimously. Brainless idiots.
I know you have been told this before but you keep saying the same stupid things.
[quote]All because a Liberatarian said something that left wing liberals ALL agree with unanimously.
Huh? R43, you don't make any sense at all. I'm sorry, but I tried to follow, but all I see are complete non-sequiturs.
What took them so long?
They should just round up and arrest everyone at FoxNews. (Most at CBS too)
I am saying that liberals are also taking aim at many things that the Obama administration is doing but on this particular board they keep thinking posters are the republican right or libertarians. I think they need to research the people who have been targeted by these policies before they post. They are obsessed with political labels instead of fundamental constitutional breaches.
[quote]on this particular board they keep thinking posters are the republican right or libertarians.
In this case, R46, trolldar shows that the OP is, in fact, a libertarian nutcase who has posted here frequently in the past.
Blah blah blah blah.........
[quote]barefoot and pregnant
Where can I buy that Talking Heads album?
Just for fun, trolldar R47 and go to the "Boston Bombing" link and see what she wrote.
She is a government shit shill, and always defends them from attacks on this board. If someone trolldar-ed her and went through some threads they would see she ALWAYS parrots the party line.
When someone points out that Obama has supported the Patriot Act, or authorized the murder of US citizens on US soil, or is using drones to murder innocent people, or is bailing out the banks using tax dollars...well, she always appears and casts aspersions. It's creepy.
Hmmmm, it's almost like she's trying to keep liberal gays from ever questioning the party line...
[quote]Just for fun, trolldar [R47] and go to the "Boston Bombing" link and see what she wrote.
Dear heart, it's not like I hide what I write here. And, unlike you, I don't talk to myself and praise my own posts.
[quote]She is a government shit shill, and always defends them from attacks on this board. If someone trolldar-ed her and went through some threads they would see she ALWAYS parrots the party line.
ROFL.... No, dear, I don't but hey, anything that gets you through the day. And heaven forbid you should actually think about or defend the drivel you post here.
[quote]When someone points out that Obama has supported the Patriot Act, or authorized the murder of US citizens on US soil, or is using drones to murder innocent people, or is bailing out the banks using tax dollars...well, she always appears and casts aspersions. It's creepy.
LOL.... Do feel free to point to my "creepy" posts on the Patriot Act or on drones or on the "murder of US citizens on US soil." You can't, of course, because no such "creepy" posts exist.
[quote]Hmmmm, it's almost like she's trying to keep liberal gays from ever questioning the party line...
ROFL.... Q.E.D. regarding your status as a conspiracy nut. Thanks for confirming, dear.
And yet, R51, you don't respond to the question-
You say that spying on reporters is okay, that using the IRS to go after the "enemy" is a good use of time, that questioning the Boston Bombing issue is "conspiracy", that you've never defended the Patriot Act or the bank bailouts.
Who are you? Why do you always, across dozens of threads, always attempt to defend the government from any criticism? Or is it just Democrats?
From what I've seen, you defend anything the gov does.
R51 (and multiple other posts) why do you want to bury this story, along with the Boston Bombing, IRS and Benghazi?
LOL@R21. That is from the ending of Blazing Saddles, right?
[quote]you don't respond to the question-
Dear heart, you didn't ask a question.
[quote]You say that spying on reporters is okay
No, dear, I didn't, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]that using the IRS to go after the "enemy" is a good use of time
No, dear, I didn't, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]that questioning the Boston Bombing issue is "conspiracy"
No, dear, I didn't, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]that you've never defended the Patriot Act
Correct, dear, I haven't, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]or the bank bailouts.
Ah, there you have me. I did, and do, defend the bank bailouts.
[quote]Who are you?
Someone who is amusing himself at your expense.
[quote]Why do you always, across dozens of threads, always attempt to defend the government from any criticism?
I don't, dear, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]From what I've seen, you defend anything the gov does.
No, dear, I don't, which is why you can't support this silly accusation any more than you can your other paranoid fantasies.
[quote]why do you want to bury this story
What "story" am I supposed to be "burying," dear?
By the way, I forgot to tell you just how much I loved these paranoid fantasies of yours from earlier in the thread:
[quote]Well, until the whole system begins to break down because interest rates rose 1%, and bread and milk doubled in price, and those "We Buy Gold" stores refuse to sell any stash due to the breakdown in the "paper gold" market. That's when things REALLY get interesting!
I mean, what can you say about such idiocy? Other than pointing out that you've been engaging in similar rants for years and not one of these predictions of yours has ever come true.
[quote]I'm so glad I bought gold in the late 90s and early aughts--- even if I'm wrong, I've still got enough to live on for a decade or two.
Dear heart, you said that gold would climb to ten times its current value. Of course you were wrong! And not only wrong, but hilariously and stupidly wrong, since it was bloody obvious to anyone with an IQ above that of a jar of mayonnaise that gold was in a classic bubble, a bubble that is now popping, just as everyone predicted.