Seal of the United States Department of Justice
Associated Press Ticked Off Justice Department Obtains Phone Records of Its Reporters & Editors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Justice Department ‘secretly’ obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press. Of course, the AP doesn’t like it, characterizing the move as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how it gathers the news. Matt Drudge tweeted “Talk had filled the halls of The Hill today that something big was coming.” I’ll take whatever he has to say with a grain of salt. He’s been wrong before. Many times. If the Associated Press got its hands on classified information, the Justice Department is absolutely within its rights to obtain the telephone records of journalists and editors to see who leaked the information. The problem I have with all this is why did their investigation have to be so far-reaching and encompass so many journalists? That’s a violation of the First Amendment right.

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. Source

The Obama administration has prosecuted leaks aggressively. A study last year by ProPublica showed it had brought six prosecutions under the World War I-era Espionage Act, twice as many as all previous administrations. Source

Ooooh, I guess Eric Holder is scared of the big bad wolf called the Associated Press. It was previously said in public testimony that a criminal investigation is being conducted into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. That news story included details of a CIA operation in Yemen that disrupted an al-Qaeda plot in 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane heading for the U.S. I don’t like the idea of Big Brother and Big Sister stepping all over our rights. The actions of the Justice Department sends a chilling message. I must say, President Obama is having a really bad week and it’s only Monday. Dang…..

Journalists Slamming DOJ for Wiretapping AP:

AP tweets:

 

 

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