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An Obama success?

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 9:12 PM
  • 19 Replies


US seizure of journalist records called 'chilling'

AFP - The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday.

"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club.

"In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person ... This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.

"Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well."

Pruitt spoke one month after the US news agency revealed that it had been notified after the fact that the US Justice Department had secret subpoenas of two months of phone records from its news operations.

The AP has said US authorities appeared to have sought out the records as part of a criminal investigation into leaked information contained in a May 2012 AP story about a foiled terror plot.

Pruitt, who previously called the seizure "a massive and unprecedented intrusion" into newsgathering, said the Justice Department "violated its own rules" on how it handles investigations of leaks to news media.

He said the collection of records pertaining to more than 100 journalists was "an overbroad and sloppy fishing expedition" and failed to follow procedures on notification.

Pruitt said that authorities maintained that by notifying the AP ahead of the sweep "it would have tipped off the leaker" but argued "that kind of reasoning would apply in every single case."

This rationale would mean news organizations would never know when its records are being obtained, news sources would become less willing to speak and "the public will only know what the government wants them to know."

The Justice Department has told the AP "that our phone records have been and will continue to be walled off, protected and used for no other purpose other than the leak investigation," Pruitt said.

"We appreciate these assurances. But that does not excuse what they did. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The AP chief said the US administration should reaffirm the right of advance notice to news organizations, and use the courts to adjudicate any disputes on whether certain records are needed.

He also called for a "federal shield law with teeth" to ensure that journalists are not prosecuted for doing their jobs.

"We do not dispute that the government has the right to pursue those who leak classified information," he said.

But he argued that "no one in this country should ever be prosecuted for committing journalism."

Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder said the leak which prompted the seizure of journalist phone records was a "very serious" matter which "puts the American people at risk."

Pruitt said Wednesday however that the AP waited five days before publishing the article, until after it had been assured by US officials that "the national security risk had passed.

The US administration under President Barack Obama has been aggressive in pursuing leaks of secret government information.

Authorities have said they had opened a probe into Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked details about a cast US government electronic surveillance program.

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced in January to two and a half years in prison for leaking the name of a secret agent implicated in harsh interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects.

AFP - The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday.

"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club.

"In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person ... This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.

"Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well."

Pruitt spoke one month after the US news agency revealed that it had been notified after the fact that the US Justice Department had secret subpoenas of two months of phone records from its news operations.

The AP has said US authorities appeared to have sought out the records as part of a criminal investigation into leaked information contained in a May 2012 AP story about a foiled terror plot.

Pruitt, who previously called the seizure "a massive and unprecedented intrusion" into newsgathering, said the Justice Department "violated its own rules" on how it handles investigations of leaks to news media.

He said the collection of records pertaining to more than 100 journalists was "an overbroad and sloppy fishing expedition" and failed to follow procedures on notification.

Pruitt said that authorities maintained that by notifying the AP ahead of the sweep "it would have tipped off the leaker" but argued "that kind of reasoning would apply in every single case."

This rationale would mean news organizations would never know when its records are being obtained, news sources would become less willing to speak and "the public will only know what the government wants them to know."

The Justice Department has told the AP "that our phone records have been and will continue to be walled off, protected and used for no other purpose other than the leak investigation," Pruitt said.

"We appreciate these assurances. But that does not excuse what they did. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The AP chief said the US administration should reaffirm the right of advance notice to news organizations, and use the courts to adjudicate any disputes on whether certain records are needed.

He also called for a "federal shield law with teeth" to ensure that journalists are not prosecuted for doing their jobs.

"We do not dispute that the government has the right to pursue those who leak classified information," he said.

But he argued that "no one in this country should ever be prosecuted for committing journalism."

Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder said the leak which prompted the seizure of journalist phone records was a "very serious" matter which "puts the American people at risk."

Pruitt said Wednesday however that the AP waited five days before publishing the article, until after it had been assured by US officials that "the national security risk had passed.

The US administration under President Barack Obama has been aggressive in pursuing leaks of secret government information.

Authorities have said they had opened a probe into Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked details about a cast US government electronic surveillance program.

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced in January to two and a half years in prison for leaking the name of a secret agent implicated in harsh interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects.


The Obama adm has suceeded in creating a country where the press will be able to inform us only what the government wants us to know.

Minnow Slayer

by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 9:12 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM
1 mom liked this

Isn't it lovely?

prommy
by Silver Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM
2 moms liked this

Nothing surprises me about this administration anymore.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM
2 moms liked this
I tend to lead toward "scary".

Quoting stormcris:

Isn't it lovely?

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this

I think this will cause a lot of pirate journalism and underground networks to emerge.

Quoting Carpy:

I tend to lead toward "scary".

Quoting stormcris:

Isn't it lovely?


Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis D. Brandeis
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM
1 mom liked this
Probably, yet it is very troubling that our first amendment is being threatened in such a manner.

Quoting stormcris:

I think this will cause a lot of pirate journalism and underground networks to emerge.

Quoting Carpy:

I tend to lead toward "scary".



Quoting stormcris:

Isn't it lovely?


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:30 AM

 "all the news that's fit to print"

Providing edited versions of the 'truth" since October 25, 1896.

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:37 AM
1 mom liked this

Yes it is. But, at this point, I am not sure we have much of a Constitution any longer.

Amendments 1,2, and 4 have been threatened by various entities (have to put in that I am talking about Martial Law implementations in various towns). I am not sure if three has or not but if the FBI forced a person to allow them to take up a position in their home it could be a breech. It is my understanding there have been breaches with the Drug war on the 5th Amendment. The 6th was somewhat breeched often in various places. The 10th was breeched so very long ago. *sigh*

Quoting Carpy:

Probably, yet it is very troubling that our first amendment is being threatened in such a manner.

Quoting stormcris:

I think this will cause a lot of pirate journalism and underground networks to emerge.

Quoting Carpy:

I tend to lead toward "scary".



Quoting stormcris:

Isn't it lovely?



idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't know what a secret subpoena is and who orders it, who is aware of it and I don't know enough details of why they did what they did in the manner they did it to come to a conclusion.  This article certainly doesn't help with that.

  All administrations go after leakers of secret government information, Obama's administration is certainly no exception.  They're in their rights to go after leaks of classified information, they're even obligated to do so although I agree that methodology can lead to a slippery slope.  We've been on that slope for years because there is always a push and pull between media and the desire to get the "truth" out to the public, however that "truth" may be reported and administrations who have a stake, in keeping shit hidden (mostly for the right reasons, but in each administration, not always)  in the past. 

You however, are determined  to assume a whole bunch of shit about the intent of the Obama Administration, even Obama personally.  The intent of the Obama administration is no more evil than any other's and this is just gettting old.  The leap of logic you took in your last sentence is mind boggling, with absolutely no basis in reality other than being pissed off that a democrat is in office.

SherryBerry106
by on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this

 

or ever, for that matter.

Quoting prommy:

Nothing surprises me about this administration anymore.


 

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM
2 moms liked this


You do realize the attack on whistle blowers has Bipartisan support, right? It doesn't surprise me that the conservatives here want to blame it all on Obama and his adminstration though.

Quoting prommy:

Nothing surprises me about this administration anymore.



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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

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