On top of Benghazi and the IRS Scandals, now there is breaking news that the Eric Holder's department of Justice obtained secretly procured 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.Why is the Justice department checking out the Associated Press, especially since they are pro Obama?
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.
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.There is no justification for the action of the Department of Justice, that is not supposed to be the way the country works. Especially when you consider something called the First Amendment.
This scandal is going to alienate the media. In the end the general horror surrounding the IRS scandal and now this intrusion into the freedom of the press will definitely erode the Mainstream Media's overwhelming loyalty to this administration while they ignore the truth.
UPDATE: The National Press Club Wants a Public Explanation
In the wake of reports today that the Justice Department secretly obtained phone records of several of AP's reporters and four of its offices, the National Press Club requests that the Obama administration publicly explain the reasons behind the action.I get the feeling Obama's friends in the mainstream media are NOT too Happy
The Justice Department disclosed to AP in a May 10 letter that the government had obtained last year two months of personal and professional phone records for individual AP reporters and from AP offices in the House press gallery and from AP bureaus in DC, New York and Hartford, Conn. The letter did not provide a reason why, AP said, but the targets of the government seizures and the timing suggested that it might be related to a probe of who leaked information to AP for a story the news organization broke last year about a bombing plot that had been organized by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the incident "a massive and unprecedented intrusion" into newsgathering and said the records could reveal how AP reporters and editors gather news and what they're working on.
"This appears to be a gross violation of press freedom," said National Press Club President Angela Greiling Keane, a Bloomberg News reporter. "If there's a good explanation for this, the public has a right to hear it promptly."
The National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and is an ardent advocate of press freedom and open government.