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Tag: Associated Press

AG Holder Defends Justice Department’s Secret Gathering of Associated Press Records

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder defended the secret gathering of telephone records at the Associated Press on Wednesday, citing a serious national security leak, the AP reports.

Grilled by Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House, Holder testified that he has faith in those conducting the investigation and recused himself from the case because “I’m a possessor of information eventually leaked.”

Holder said he couldn’t explain the subpoenas or why the IRS didn’t try to negotiate with the news agency to get the records, the AP wrote.

Members of Congress weren’t happy.

“There doesn’t appear to be any acceptance of responsibility for things that have gone wrong,” Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told Holder.

 

Justice Department Secretly Monitored Phone Calls at Associated Press in “Unprecedented Intrusion”

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calling it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” the Justice Department covertly collected two months of telephone records from reporters and editors at the Associated Press, CNN reports.

The records came from the work and person phone numbers reporters and other at the AP.

It’s uncertain what officials are looking for, but one theory is that investigators are interested in an AP story about a foiled terror plot, the AP wrote.

“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.

Even members of Congress were dumbfounded.

“The First Amendment is first for a reason,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “If the Obama administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”

Justice Department’s Seizure of Associated Press Phone Records is Disgusting!

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Last time I checked, John Mitchell of the Nixonian era was no longer our Attorney General.

But you’d be hard pressed not to feel that the crooked Mitchell was heading up the Justice Department, which we now learn,  secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press. It’s something John Mitchell would have done.

AP calls it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”

I call it one of the most disgusting things to come out of Justice  in a long long time.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has offered no public justification.

That’s because there is no justification in a nation where we have a First Amendment, in a nation where the government is not supposed to run amok and trample on the rights of press.

(Update: Holder said Tuesday that he recused himself from the probe involving AP and that deputy Attorney General James Cole supervised the probe. He said he’s certain everything was done according to the law, and that the aggressive probe into a leak was essential.)

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, according to AP.

AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt shot off a letter to Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr.:

“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.”

The Obama administration has come under constant attack by the right. With offensive antics like this,  it may not be able to count on support from the other side of the aisle in the future.

This shouldn’t happen, that is, unless it’s really the ghost of John Mitchell who’s running the Justice Department.

I’m not sure Attorney General Eric Holder would like to be saddled with a legacy like that.

 

Column: The Justice Department’s Seizing of Associated Press Phone Records is Disgusting!

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Last time I checked, John Mitchell of the Nixonian era was no longer our Attorney General.

But you’d be hard pressed not to feel that the crooked Mitchell was heading up the Justice Department, which we now learn,  secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press. It’s something John Mitchell would have done.

AP calls it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”

I call it one of the most disgusting things to come out of Justice  in a long long time.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has offered no public justification.

That’s because there is no justification in a nation where we have a First Amendment, in a nation where the government is not supposed to run amok and trample on the rights of press. 

(Update: Holder said Tuesday that he recused himself from the probe involving AP and that deputy Attorney General James Cole supervised the probe. He said he’s certain everything was done according to the law, and that the aggressive probe into a leak was essential.)

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, according to AP.

AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt shot off a letter to Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr.:

“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.”

The Obama administration has come under constant attack by the right. With offensive antics like this,  it may not be able to count on support from the other side of the aisle in the future.

This shouldn’t happen, that is, unless it’s really the ghost of John Mitchell who’s running the Justice Department.

I’m not sure Eric Holder would like to be saddled with a legacy like that.

 

Good Leads, Still No Suspects in FBI Search for “Potomac River Rapist” in D.C. Area

Sketch of Potomac River Rapist/fbi

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It’s been more than a month since the FBI began publicly seeking a man dubbed “The Potomac River Rapist”, who suspected in a series of sexual assaults and a slaying in the D.C. area, reports the Associated Press, and, despite “multiple good leads and tips,” the bureau has not identified a suspect yet.

Investigators have met with a few men, according to the AP, and some have even volunteered DNA samples, yet still there are no suspects.

“We’re continuing to get very strong tips and good phone calls — and that’s all law enforcement, not just FBI,”  said Lindsay Godwin, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington field office. She said that analysis is ongoing.

A website and digital billboards went up around the end of December along the East Coast seeking tips about a man believed to be connected to nine sexual attacks between 1991 and 1998, according to AP.

To read more click here.

Suburban Chicago Fire May Have Hid Murder of Four

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A fire at a suburban Chicago home may have been used to hide the murder of four people in the house, ATF agents have told the Associated Press.

A woman and three young relatives were found dead by gunshot in the home, presumably shot before the blaze began, according to the AP, possibly by a distraught boyfriend of the woman. Names are not yet being released of the perpetrator or the victims

Investigators believe the man shot the four early Tuesday, set the house on fire and then drove to another suburb, then turned his gun on himself, committing suicide.

A neighbor, Ann Bendera, described the family as friendly, often seeing them playing with the family dog in the front yard, and was shocked by the incident.

To read more click here.

Column: The Feds Leak Investigation: Probe or Payback?

By Len Levitt
NYPD Confidential

The Justice Department’s bullseye on the FBI and NYPD via a grand jury probe into leaks in terrorism cases appears to have been prompted a year ago by a news story about an Al Qaeda mastermind, sources said.

The story was an Associated Press exclusive from Washington about the impending indictment of Adnan Shukrijumah, who had recruited Najibullah Zazi and his Flushing High School pals to blow up New York subways in 2009.

The indictment of the fugitive Shukrijumah, in New York’s Eastern District, linked the Zazi subway plot to another Al Qaeda terrorist plot in Manchester, England.

But the AP published its story before Shukrijumah’s indictment was announced.

The story forced law enforcement officials overseas — in Norway, of all places — to scramble and speed the arrests of two suspects in Oslo. The pair had been under surveillance for a year.

To read more click here.

Judge Rules Against Muslim Groups But Blasts Government

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There was good news and bad news for Muslim activists who sued to get FBI files on their activities.

The bad news was that a federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., ruled Wednesday that the groups cannot have access to most of the files because of national security issues, the Associated Press reported.

The consolation prize for the group was that the judge blasted the government for misleading the court about the existence of the files, AP reported.

“The government’s representations were then, and remain today, blatantly false,” Judge Cormac J. Carney wrote. “The government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the court.”

Six Muslim groups and five individuals sued the government in 2007 to gain access to records after they alleged the government was unlawfully targeting Muslims in Southern California, AP reported.