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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records

    First the IRS and now this...

    Gov't obtains wide Associated Press phone records in probe

    By MARK SHERMAN
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general 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, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.

    In all, the government seized the 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 where 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. Officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have provided 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.

    In testimony in February, CIA Director John Brennan noted that the FBI had questioned him about whether he was AP's source, which he denied. He called the release of the information to the media about the terror plot an "unauthorized and dangerous disclosure of classified information."

    Prosecutors have sought phone records from reporters before, but the seizure of records from such a wide array of AP offices, including general AP switchboards numbers and an office-wide shared fax line, is unusual.

    In the letter notifying the AP, which was received Friday, the Justice Department offered no explanation for the seizure, according to Pruitt's letter and attorneys for the AP. The records were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year although the government letter did not explain that. None of the information provided by the government to the AP suggested the actual phone conversations were monitored.

    Among those whose phone numbers were obtained were five reporters and an editor who were involved in the May 7, 2012, story.

    The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media and has brought six cases against people suspected of providing classified information, more than under all previous presidents combined.

    The White House on Monday said that other than press reports it had no knowledge of Justice Department attempts to seek AP phone records.

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

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the investigative House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on CNN, "They had an obligation to look for every other way to get it before they intruded on the freedom of the press."

    Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an emailed statement: "The burden is always on the government when they go after private information, especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources. ... On the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden. I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government's explanation."

    The American Civil Liberties Union said the use of subpoenas for a broad swath of records has a chilling effect both on journalists and whistleblowers who want to reveal government wrongdoing. "The attorney general must explain the Justice Department's actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again," said Laura Murphy, the director of ACLU's Washington legislative office.

    Rules published by the Justice Department require that subpoenas of records of news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general, but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained through subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

    William Miller, a spokesman for Machen, said Monday that in general the U.S. attorney follows "all applicable laws, federal regulations and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations." But he would not address questions about the specifics of the AP records. "We do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations," Miller said in an email.

    The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can be considered only after "all reasonable attempts" have been made to get the same information from other sources, the rules say. It was unclear what other steps, in total, the Justice Department might have taken to get information in the case.

    A subpoena to the media must be "as narrowly drawn as possible" and "should be directed at relevant information regarding a limited subject matter and should cover a reasonably limited time period," according to the rules.

    The reason for these constraints, the department says, is to avoid actions that "might impair the news gathering function" because the government recognizes that "freedom of the press can be no broader than the freedom of reporters to investigate and report the news."

    News organizations normally are notified in advance that the government wants phone records and then they enter into negotiations over the desired information. In this case, however, the government, in its letter to the AP, cited an exemption to those rules that holds that prior notification can be waived if such notice, in the exemption's wording, might "pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation."

    It is unknown whether a judge or a grand jury signed off on the subpoenas.

    The May 7, 2012, AP story that disclosed details of the CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot occurred around the 1-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.

    The plot was significant both because of its seriousness and also because the White House previously had told the public it had "no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the (May 2) anniversary of bin Laden's death."

    The AP delayed reporting the story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security. Once officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP disclosed the plot, though the Obama administration continued to request that the story be held until the administration could make an official announcement.

    The May 7 story was written by reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman with contributions from reporters Kimberly Dozier, Eileen Sullivan and Alan Fram. They and their editor, Ted Bridis, were among the journalists whose April-May 2012 phone records were seized by the government.

    Brennan talked about the AP story and investigation in written testimony to the Senate. "The irresponsible and damaging leak of classified information was made ... when someone informed The Associated Press that the U.S. government had intercepted an IED (improvised explosive device) that was supposed to be used in an attack and that the U.S. government currently had that IED in its possession and was analyzing it," he wrote.

    He also defended the White House decision to discuss the plot afterward. "Once someone leaked information about interdiction of the IED and that the IED was actually in our possession, it was imperative to inform the American people consistent with government policy that there was never any danger to the American people associated with this al-Qaida plot," Brennan told senators.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Ok so basically they have removed toilet paper from the white house and replaced it with copies of The Constitution.

    Yup, we sure will look back on this Presidency as one with transparency and class, holding themselves to a higher standard, to the letter of the law. Yeah right! Seriously, now this administration is making Nixon look like a boy scout.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Obtaining AP phone records required Holder’s approval

    Politics
    On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had “secretly obtained two months of telephone records” from 20 phone lines assigned to reporters and editors from the global news organization. The shocking revelation comes on top of news that the IRS targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny. It will be harder for President Obama to pin the DOJ’s action on lower level bureaucrats, however, because requests to subpoena news organization records require the approval of Attorney General Eric Holder.

    The DOJ’s U.S. Attorneys’ Manual is quite clear on this point:

    The Attorney General’s authorization is normally required before the issuance of any subpoena to a member of the news media or for the telephone toll records of a member of the news media. However, in those cases where the media member or his or her representative agrees to provide the material sought and that material has been published or broadcast, the United States Attorney or the responsible Assistant Attorney General may authorize issuance of the subpoena, thereafter submitting a report to the Office of Public Affairs detailing the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the subpoena….

    Because this probe was secret, the second condition was not met, meaning that Holder’s approval was necessary. The manual goes on to explain:

    Department attorneys seeking the Attorney General’s authorization to issue a subpoena to a member of the news media, or for telephone toll records of a media member, must submit a written request summarizing the facts of the prosecution or investigation, explaining the essentiality of the information sought to the investigation or prosecution, describing attempts to obtain the voluntary cooperation of the news media through negotiation and explaining how the proposed subpoena will be fashioned as narrowly as possible to obtain the necessary information in a manner as minimally intrusive and burdensome as possible.

    So, either attorneys’ ignored procedure in obtaining phone records without proper approval, or Holder directly approved an operation that involved obtaining journalists’ work and personal phone records. Holder is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for an oversight hearing.



    http://washingtonexaminer.com/obtain...stom_click=rss
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 07:27 AM
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    So under the Executive Branch which is Obama's responsibility...

    - The State Department, with the help of the White House, plays politics after an ambassador is killed by trying to hide information to allow Obama to get re-elected,
    - The Justice Department illegally traffics guns to Mexico which are later used to kill a border patrolman,
    - The Justice Department also illegally obtains records from a news organization in an effort to side-step the first ammendment,
    - The IRS (part of the Treasury Department) politically targets groups that disagree with the current administration.

    Someone please explain to me how this administration is better than Richard Nixon's. The government is completely out of control, and anyone that thinks this is somehow all "lower level people" and it has no connection to Obama is kidding themselves. This is Chicago politics 101: plausible deniability to illegal activity by throwing lower level stooges under the bus. One incident, two incidents...maybe that's a coincedence, but this is clearly a pattern.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Angelina Jolie will be today's top story in the news anyways...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Bill O'Reilly To Laura Ingraham: 'The AP Story Is Not A Scandal' (VIDEO)

    Michael Caine on Jaws: The Revenge:

    "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built and it is terrific."

    Samuel Johnson 1775 : “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

    "McDonalds is The Antichrist" - Bill Hicks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSH6ofHbeUw

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    After AP leak controversy, White House pushes for media-shield law

    Under fire for secret subpoenas of Associated Press phone records, the Obama administration has asked a key senator to revive legislation that would enhance protections for journalists trying to protect their sources.

    A White House official called Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Wednesday to ask him to reintroduce the media shield law that he supported in 2009 but that never received a vote on the Senate floor. The push comes in the wake of Department of Justice subpoenas of a broad swath of AP's phone records, including several main numbers used by more than 100 reporters.

    "This kind of law would balance national security needs against the public's right to the free flow of information. At minimum, our bill would have ensured a fairer, more deliberate process in this case," Schumer said in a statement.

    The shield law would insulate journalists from fines and prison time when they refuse to reveal their sources in court cases. It allows journalists to appeal to a federal judge when they don't want to give up their sources to subpoena -- and let the judge decide whether public interest in the journalist's story outweighs the interests of the government.

    But the bill also says that in some national security matters, this "balancing test" wouldn't be applied.

    That's in part because of White House concerns about the law. In 2009, the White House objected to the shield law's use in national security situations -- like the one the AP believes triggered the secret subpoenas. The wire service reported in 2012 that a double agent had foiled a bomb plot in Yemen.

    Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday called that leak "a very, very serious leak."

    "This is among the top two or three serious leaks that I’ve ever seen," he said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Outta Space Cowboy Scotty's Avatar
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    If Obama were a white Republican he'd be impeached by now.

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    If Obama were a white Republican he'd be impeached by now.
    Yup
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    If Obama were a white Republican he'd be impeached by now.
    Or a white Democrat.

     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Richard Nixon would be very proud of Barack Obama. BTW the first african american president will never be impeached so just forget about that.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    A.G. Eric Holder justified secretly subpoenaing Associated Press records, saying the AP put people at risk while reporting on Yemen.

    But that assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder could be undermined by the White House’s decision to publicly comment about the operation at the time and reveal details beyond those in the original AP story, according to legal experts and counterterrorism officials.

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news...s-seizure?lite
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Would You Believe The Administration Got Phone Records of The House Of Representatives?

    posted at 8:12 pm on May 15, 2013 by Duane Patterson

    That’s the revelation made by California Congressman Devin Nunes, who sits on the House Ways And Means Committee on Hugh Hewitt’s Show Wednesday night. Here’s the key part of that transcript:

    HH: The idea that this might be a Geithner-Axelrod plan, and by that, the sort of intimation, Henry II style, will no one rid me of this turbulent priest, will no one rid me of these turbulent Tea Parties, that might have just been a hint, a shift of an eyebrow, a change in the tone of voice. That’s going to take a long time to get to. I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?

    DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.

    HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.

    DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.

    HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…

    HH: Wow.

    DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.

    HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.

    DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.

    HH: Sure.

    DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.



    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives...presentatives/
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    It just gets uglier by the minute.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  15. #15
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    Eric Holder's testimony to Congress about what he knew about the phone records being taken can be summed up as follows:


 

 

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