Justice Department secretly obtained AP phone records

caniseeyourtaint

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Feb 26, 2004
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#1
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.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/13/justice-department-secretly-obtains-ap-phone-records/


Discuss.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#2
If DoJ wants to know how the 'news' is gathered just ask the C-I-A's embedded assets within each news organization, maaan.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#5
If they do this to friendly media like AP, one can only imagine what they're doing to Fox.
 

Neon

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#7
When Piers Morgan is tweeting stuff like this:

Benghazi, IRS, AP - doesn't add up to much 'transparency' does it, Mr President?
You know you're not having a great week. And it's only Monday.
 

Neon

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#9
PM, should probably keep his lying ass out of it.
For sure, but when such a massive water carrier starts saying stuff like that, you gotta think the veneer is starting to crack. Just in the past week I've seen ABC News, the BBC, and now Piers starting to look sideways at this administration.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#10
For sure, but when such a massive water carrier starts saying stuff like that, you gotta think the veneer is starting to crack. Just in the past week I've seen ABC News, the BBC, and now Piers starting to look sideways at this administration.

About freaking time these propagandists took off their rose colored glasses.
 

Neon

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#11
About freaking time these propagandists took off their rose colored glasses.
In that sense I can't really blame Obama. You think if the media gave Bush a pass on everything that he wouldn't continue pushing the limits further and further until finally people started asking questions? It's like a little kid that tests his parents to see how far he can push them before getting punished. I mean, obviously I blame Obama for the things that he does that are improper, but I think the media is a significant contributor to how bad it's gotten because they didn't, and don't, keep him in check. Seems like we need more of a separation of the Fourth Power.
 

CousinDave

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Dec 11, 2007
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#12
I don't know why Barry to tap the AP in the first place, I mean they've been shilling for him for over 5 years now
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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#15
Yup. Most transparent administration ever.

Nothing to see here.

Move along and let the monkey try and act like a president.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#16
On Friday, IRS voluntarily admitted that they were targeting conservative and right wing groups. Today, the Justice Department voluntarily admitted to retrieving AP phone records...

Very "interesting" how both the IRS and Justice Dept decided to come forward around the same time...almost as if they knew these bombshells were about to be leaked by...someone...
 
May 24, 2004
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#17
The AP always asks the first question at the daily White House press briefings. Tomorrow's should be full of lolz.
 

Lord Zero

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#18
This administration keeps finding ways of topping its own criminal behavior.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/benghazi-irs-tea-party-probe-govt-seized-ap-221531096.html
Yahoo News said:
After Benghazi, IRS tea party probe: Govt seized AP phone records


Exactly ten days ago, President Barack Obama was piously telling reporters who cover him that free speech and an independent press are “essential pillars of our democracy.” On Monday, the Associated Press accused his administration of undermining that very pillar by secretly obtaining two months’ worth of telephone records of AP reporters and editors.

“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The latest revelations are sure to pour fuel on the fire of Republican-driven Richard Nixon comparisons. They come in the wake of revelations that the IRS may have improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative, tea party-linked groups. This might, in order words, not be a great time to announce a groundbreaking trip to China.

And the news threatens to pile fresh political woes on a second term already burdened by a painful gun-control defeat, a seemingly stalled economic agenda, and Republican rage at the botched response to the Sept. 12, 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The revelations that the Justice Department may have sought AP phone records drew an angry response from Republican House Speaker John Boehner's office. “The First Amendment is first for a reason. If the Obama Administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

And Laura Murphy, a top American Civil Liberties Union official in Washington, D.C., condemned "unwarranted surveillance" of the press and urged Holder to explain what transpired "so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again.”

Holder was expected to face questions on the issue when he appears Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia did not answer a question from Yahoo News on whether other news outlets had been targeted. The spokesman, Bill Miller, did not confirm the AP allegations, but insisted in a statement that "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."

Pruitt, in his letter to Holder, fiercely disagreed.

He said that the Justice Department had obtained telephone records for more than 20 separate phone lines assigned to the AP -- the world's largest wire service -- and its journalists. The records cover a two-month span in early 2012 and cover phones lines for AP in New York City, Washington D.C., Hartford, Conn., and one line at the AP workspace in the House of Representatives.

"This action was taken without advance notice to AP or to any of the affected journalists, and even after the fact no notice has been sent to individual journalists whose home phones and cell phone records were seized by the Department," Pruitt wrote.

"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters," Pruitt wrote. "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 called it "particularly troubling" that the Justice Department "undertook this unprecedented step without providing any notice to the AP, and without taking any steps to narrow the scope of its subpoenas to matters actually relevant to an ongoing investigation."

In his statement, Miller said DoJ 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."

And "we must notify the media organization in advance unless doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation," he said. "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."

An Associated Press news story on the Justice Department's actions noted:
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.
A former spokesman for Holder's Justice Department, Matthew Miller, took to Twitter to rebuke journalists and underlined that Republicans called for investigations into the leaks.
So how did people think DOJ was going to investigate classified info leaks? Reporters aren't immune from standard investigative techniques.

— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 13, 2013
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#19
The rest.
Yahoo News said:
Ever since the days of his history-making 2008 presidential campaign, Obama has repeatedly cast himself as a champion of open government and reform. Aides are fond of praising "the most transparent administration in history" -- a moniker that might be accurate, but mostly because of poor standards set by his predecessors. It's like being the most powerful cricket team in Alaska.

And the Obama administration has not been shy about taking steps to deny Freedom of Information Act requests on national security grounds.

Just ten days ago, on May 3, Obama noted during a visit to Costa Rica that it was "World Press Freedom Day."

"So everybody from the American press corps, you should thank the people of Costa Rica for celebrating free speech and an independent press as essential pillars of our democracy," he said.

On Monday, Obama was scooping up cash for Democrats in New York City. His spokesman, Jay Carney, referred questions about the AP letter to the Justice Department.

"We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department," Carney said.
 

Hudson

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#25
I wonder who's gonna say "we gave them to them" first on MSNBC or CNN.............