Obama administration taps AP phone lines
May 14, 2013
By Katy Grimes
The Associated Press found itself in an interesting juxtaposition yesterday when it had to report that the Obama Justice Department secretly obtained two months of AP’s own employees’ phone records.
In what can only be called strange, the Obama Justice Department has been secretly tapping the phone lines for 100 reporters and editors of the Associated Press, according to news reports just released yesterday.
This is a direct attack on the freedom of the press. Ironically however, this is the same press which has been in-the-bag for candidate, and now President Obama.
Also ironically, while the Patriot Act was being rammed through Congress, the press sat on their hands and did nothing. Now they are being spied on, ostensibly under the guise of the Patriot Act and national security.
According to the Associated Press, general phone lines for 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, were all tapped, according to attorneys for the AP.
The Justice Department, run by Attorney General Eric Holder, 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.
“Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation,” the AP reported. “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.
This is going to get interesting. The IRS has been targeting conservatives and pro-Israel groups, and no one has been fired. Now the same administration is attacking freedom of the press and spying on the AP. What Constitutional right will be violated next? And what are people willing to do about it?
On the Jewish blog, Boker tov, a reader left a thought-provoking comment: “The sheer stupidity of the Obama mob is beyond belief. This really is the gang that cannot shoot straight. Why in the world would they pull this caper on — of all the news agencies on the planet — the one news agency that has done probably more than any other to make Obama look like a Great American President? Whatever happened to such sage admonitions as “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” and ‘Don’t kill the goose that lays golden eggs’? Will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? I wouldn’t bet on it; so far, the camel’s back has been as strong as Atlas’s. But if this is the straw that cripples the camel, Obama will have only his own and his henchmen’s stupidity to blame.”
11 commentsWrite a comment
Steven Greenhut: Forced to choose between funding public schools and subsidizing ritzy golf courses, many California officials prefer the latter.
John Seiler: Looking over Katy Grimes’ budget piece today on Jerry Brown’s testimony before the Legislature, “Is An All-Cuts Budget
Over the past 14 months, San Diego voters have repudiated the decisions of the Democratic majority on the City Council