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In a New York Times op-ed piece today, a former attorney general and two Justice Department officials from previous administrations defended the decision to subpoena AP telephone toll records in an important leak investigation.  

While neither we nor the critics know the circumstances behind the prosecutors’ decision to issue this subpoena, we do know from the government’s public disclosures that the prosecutors were right to investigate this leak vigorously. The leak — which resulted in a May 2012 article by The A.P. about the disruption of a Yemen-based terrorist plot to bomb an airliner — significantly damaged our national security.
_______________

The trio who signed the New York Times editorial includes a former Assistant Attorney General for national security.  The editorial counters critics of the current leak investigation and explains the steps that were taken before AP telephone records were obtained.  

His office, which has an experienced national security team, undertook a methodical and measured investigation. Did prosecutors immediately seek the reporters’ toll records? No. Did they subpoena the reporters to testify or compel them to turn over their notes? No. Rather, according to the Justice Department’s May 14 letter to The A.P., they first interviewed 550 people, presumably those who knew or might have known about the agent, and scoured the documentary record. But after eight months of intensive effort, it appears that they still could not identify the leaker.

It was only then — after pursuing “all reasonable alternative investigative steps,” as required by the department’s regulations — that investigators proposed obtaining telephone toll records (logs of calls made and received) for about 20 phone lines that the leaker might have used in conversations with A.P. journalists. They limited the request to the two months when the leak most likely occurred, and did not propose more intrusive investigative steps.

_______________

The editorial also points out that the current investigation which is being conducted by the United States attorney for the District of Columbia has been mischaracterized.

Importantly, his assignment was to identify and prosecute the government official who leaked the sensitive information; it was not to conduct an inquiry into the news organization that published it.
________________

The AP’s outrage over the phone records collected in the leak investigation rings hollow because of its own history.   The AP actually fired one of its own reporters for publishing a story that included information that was under embargo by the US military.  It was at the end of World War II in Europe and the reporter was the first to report the surrender of Germany, before the official announcement had been made.

That was then.  There doesn’t seem to be any real principle behind the AP’s current practices other than competition and profits.

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Comment Preferences

  •  they are another bunch of hacks (12+ / 0-)

    traveling disguised as "journalists"  I don't think the word
    journalist means what they think it means...

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:33:03 AM PDT

    •  Are you referring to the Associated Press? (12+ / 0-)

      If so, they're owned.  I thought everybody got that memo during the days of OWS.  The press in general has abdicated any and all pretense of fulfilling its function in a representative democracy.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:45:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny that you criticize journalists (8+ / 0-)

        but hackishly swallow the bullshit arguments of these three. (Gorelick, btw, is a lobbyist for the lending industry, which'll give you an idea of her moral stature.)

        The argument that this leak threatened U.S. security just doesn't wash. Marcy Wheeler:

        If the AP leak was so damaging, why did the gov merely ask it to delay publication? If it was so damaging, why is John Brennan's role in giving away info not examined? I might as well just quote Marcy Wheeler, who knows this stuff backward and forward.

        In a press conference Tuesday, Eric Holder claimed (rather inappropriately, given that he has recused himself from this investigation) that this leak was “among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks I’ve ever seen” in his 37-year career. “It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole,” he said. If so, then why did the White House only ask the AP to hold off on publication, rather than not publish at all? (As the scandal tied to this leak grew, White House claims about discussions with the AP changed to assert they had never planned to hold a press conference; but in a very similar alleged AQAP plot in 2010 tipped by a Saudi informant whose identity got exposed, they did.)

        More important, if this leak was so serious, then why was Brennan not only not fired, but promoted to lead the CIA, when he, by his own sworn testimony, had a role in exposing some of the most sensitive details of that leak?

        Holder may be fearmongering to justify DOJ’s breathtaking intrusion on press freedom.

        But all that distracts from the underlying fact. The White House got angry at AP for preempting a planned announcement of this plot, at a time when the White House was leaking classified information profusely on closely related issues. And that has led not to the prosecution of John Brennan for helping to expose that the plot was only ever a Saudi setup in the first place, but instead to the exposure of over six journalists’ sources.

        •  David, the diarist did no research. If they had... (5+ / 0-)

          ...they'd realize they've just written a tome supporting some of the most rightwing people--Democrat and Republican--that have been atop our nation's justice system in the past generation...PLEASE SEE MY COMMENT a few comments down for much more detail...this diarist REALLY, REALLY, REALLY needs to do their homework better before posting this rightwing crap!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:25:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sad that a seemingly intelligent person such as (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Libbylalala, KayCeSF

            yourself would spoil what could be a lively debate about substantial matters.

            Really sad because you can do better but you take the easy way.

            This diary isn't about the past histories of the editorial writers.  And why do you think that you have any more credibility than they do?  Some people might think that you carry water for Karl Rove and the Koch brothers in your own diaries.  I have the sense to stay out of them because I can see how you abuse others instead of using reason.

            It's the internet after all and anything goes.  But that cuts both ways.  You may be somebody in your profession and your colleagues may consider you an authority.  But here on the web, you're anonymous and you have no credentials.  You were right the last time you took a shot.  I don't know who you are, I don't know who you were, and I don't know who you hope to be.  

            And I don't care.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:19:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your communication would be improved with (5+ / 0-)

          courtesy and politeness.

          It would also help if you quit lying.

          You don't deserve my time. I'm going through this for the record:

          1) You attack and insult the diarist because you disagree with the dairy content.  

          2) I hackishly swallowed nothing.  I linked an editorial that appears in the NY Times today.  My comments accurately describe and quote what the Times printed.  I assume readers are intelligent enough to decide whether it's credible using reason and logic.

          3) My editorial opinion is confined to the final paragraphs. I merely pointed out that the AP's word today contradicts what it did in the past with reporter's who published leaked information.

          4) I didn't endorse the morals, ethics, character of the editorial writers.  I identified them factually.

          5) If I wanted an opinion about the Justice Dept's investigation, I'd consider a qualified source, like someone who actually worked in the Justice Dept

          6) If your biased opinion holds more weight than former Justice Dept officials, you'll have to show your credential.
          You are who, exactly?

          7) The claim about publishing in advance of a scheduled White House announcement is just AP's story which may or may not be true.  

          Believe what suits you but remember to mind your manners, please.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:33:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is probable that the Gov. asked to delay (0+ / 0-)

          publishing to insure that people who might be physically in danger could be gotten to safety.
          That would seem pretty obvious from the nature of the undercover work.

      •  It's Corporations Sponsored by Corporations. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Statusquomustgo, Libbylalala

        Serving corporations IS their function.

        What the framers intended was an assumption, and it was incorrect. Giving content freedom to corporations does not result in civic service or public good.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:56:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yep, the AP, they've been a GOP subsidiary (5+ / 0-)

        for some time now...  

        "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

        by Statusquomustgo on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:59:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Diarist should research more...puts foot in mouth! (5+ / 0-)

        Anyone rec'ing this excuse for an "argument" should FIRST take a deeper dive concerning the authors involved!

        We're talking some pretty pathetic souls writing this crap in today's NY Times...but, go ahead, and rec this post...but at least KNOW whose writing the stuff you're rec'ing...you're supporting these people, seriously?!?!?

        Stop the Leaks

        Kenneth L. Wainstein
        Kenneth Leonard Wainstein (born 1962) is an American lawyer.[1] He served as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and later as the Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush.

        Education
        Wainstein is a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.[1]

        Career
        Wainstein worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as General Counsel and as Chief of Staff to the FBI Director.[1] He was United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.[1]

        On September 26, 2006, he was sworn in as the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General responsible for National Security.[2]

        Wainstein was appointed Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush on March 30, 2008. He was also Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. He was appointed as the "National Continuity Coordinator" under the auspices of National Security Presidential Directive 51[3]

        Jamie Gorelick

        Jamie S. Gorelick (pron.: ɡəˈrɛlɪk; born May 6, 1950) is an American attorney, who represents BP.[1] She was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration. She was appointed by former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle to serve as a commissioner on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which sought to investigate the circumstances leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and also served as Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. Results of an internal audit showing improper accounting within Fannie Mae is given as the reason for her resignation. Her involvement in many of the major tragedies and high-profile American scandals of the past two decades has led some in the press to dub her the "Mistress of Disaster."[2] While at the US Department of Justice she authored the "Wall Memo" that prohibited open communications on terrorism within the FBI. Critics cite this action as one reason for lack of sharing intelligence prior to the September 11 attacks…

        Deputy Attorney General

        While serving as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, Gorelick spoke in favor of banning the use of strong encryption and called for a key escrow system to allow the Federal government access to encrypted communication.[5]

        Gorelick is a lobbyist for the lending industry fighting student loan reform[6]

        William P. Barr

        From 1973 to 1977, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

        In 1989, at the outset of his administration, President George H.W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor to the President and executive branch agencies.

        Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

        In May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr generally got high marks for his professional running of the Department.[4]

        In August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to run for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr moved into that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. Barr directed the F.B.I.'s Hostage Rescue Team to carry out an assault on the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6] It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr's handling of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

        The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[8] The New York Times described the "central theme" of his tenure to be: "his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders."[8] At the same time, reporters consistently describe Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[9]

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:21:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The 3 former officials are (8+ / 0-)

    William Barr, Jamie Gorelick and Kenneth Wainstein.  Barr and Gorelick should be known to newsreaders.

    William P. Barr was the United States attorney general from 1991 to 1993. Jamie S. Gorelick was deputy attorney general from 1994 to 1997. Kenneth L. Wainstein was assistant attorney general for national security from 2006 to 2008.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:35:45 AM PDT

  •  The NYT Op-Ed does not add fuel to the melodrama (11+ / 0-)

    And yet it manages to be an interesting read and raise important points. Whaddyaknow? I wonder how much exposure it'll get here. At any rate, thanks for pointing it out.

    •  Curious (5+ / 0-)

      Which points did you find important?

      See, none of what is said as fact, except for the "damaged national security bit,"  seems surprising or controversial to me.

      The policy of going after leakers this vigorously, which is, BTW, something the AG decides, is what's at issue it seems to me.

       

      •  What points? (11+ / 0-)

        That this issue is not just a one-sided "attack on the 1st Amendment" as is casually thrown around here. That established procedure was followed. That the acts were legal under current law.

        As for damaging national security, a covert agent's cover was blown. That qualifies and it is in evidence.

        Some things not in evidence?

        -Did the covert agent survive his exposure?
        -Were members of the agent's family caught up in reprisals?
        -Did this exposure undermine or weaken othercovert operation?

        The point here being, sometimes perhaps even often these exposures cause individuals grievous harm. But we never hear about those repurcussions.

        •  Color me skeptical that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, polecat, codairem, peacestpete

          "Although that agent succeeded in foiling one serious bombing plot against the United States, he was rendered ineffective once his existence was disclosed."

          I more inclined to believe that the foiling of the plot uncovered the existence more so than the article.

          This is assuming facts not in evidence imo.

          I will say this in defense of DOJ, this is decidedly NOT a whistleblower scenario.

          That said, the implication to the press are obviously very serious and I will join you in decrying the idea that this is monstrous or a clear breach of the Constitution.

          I do think the policy implications get overwhelmed by the hyperbole, but there is a serious issue underlying this that is not answered by this Op Ed.

          At least not imo.

           

          •  That may be possible, but (7+ / 0-)

            Because an alternate scenario can be formulated, that does not mean the government's claim of a national security breach has been disproven. That claim is strong and as such remains in evidence. Consider:

            It does not take a master spy to realize that a covert agent's cover would be 100% blown after said spy's identity was published in the major American media. That certainly does blow that spy's cover.

            Under the alternate scenario, we can say the disrupted mission might have alerted the terrorist cell of a security breach. But it (probably) would not tell them exactly who and what form the security breach took.

            The AP article, in contrast, would offer up all those details to the spied-upon. Saves the bad guys a lot of work.

            Also, handlers of special agents understand the need to protect covert agents. Which is why the intel gained is applied judiciously, so as to cover the source. Or they can get their agent out of harm's way before using gathered intel which would blow a cover.

            So bottom line IMO there is evidence of a harm to nat'l security. That can't just be push to the side and eliminated from the mix.

            I will say this in defense of DOJ, this is decidedly NOT a whistleblower scenario.

            That said, the implication to the press are obviously very serious and I will join you in decrying the idea that this is monstrous or a clear breach of the Constitution.

            I do think the policy implications get overwhelmed by the hyperbole, but there is a serious issue underlying this that is not answered by this Op Ed.

            With these points, I agree. Of course there is more to the story that is covered here. But I think it is worth the time and effort to have it pointed out that the DoJ investigators here did seem to follow established legal procedure quite rigorously. That itself should be a cause for optimism, that the DoJ people acted professionally and per existing law.

            As we learn more we will probably find ways the existing law should be changed. That makes this incident a wake-up call  as contrasted with a scandal, or as you point out, as contrasted with a whistleblower incident.

            In summary, what I find worthwhile about this Op-Ed is that it attempts to reduce the melodrama (my word) or hyperbole (yours). It is worthy of mention on DK.

            •  Fair enough (5+ / 0-)

              I think you might notice that I have not written on the story not feeling possessed of sufficient facts to write credibly on the subject.

              I admit to concern in general but on this case, I do await more information.

            •  There's a lot to think about in the story and I (0+ / 0-)

              hope the public gets more information.

              I don't understand how the source of the leak is never mentioned in all the emoting about the press.  When you go back to the origin of the story, Congressional outrage over the leak and demand for an investigation, it was clearly the focus at the outset.  Some members of Congress even accused the President of leaking the information.  They said he had something to gain from the favorable press coverage about the partial success of the CIA efforts and that he was trying to gain an advantage ahead of the election.

              These statements were made in the Senate and transcripts are found in the Congressional Record online.  It's documented.  It was also a topic covered by the newsmedia a year ago but it has been forgotten now if anyone paid attention in the first place.

              I'm interested in knowing who the leaker was.  Most of the Senators who spoke a year ago said the source was in the administration.  But they also were given access to information about CIA operations overseas.  The leaker could be anyone on the House Intelligence Committee, for example.  

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:20:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The dilemma of classified information is that it's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Libbylalala

            classified.  It can't be discussed candidly.

            For the skeptical, it's enough to say there are matters not in evidence and walk away as if the story has no merit.

            Read the Congressional Record issues from May 7, 2012 to June 8, 2012.  Senators rose to speak about the leak on numerous occasions.  Who do you disbelieve?  The Senators who ranted about this leak and others,  the CIA which gave testimony to the Senators, the FBI which said it would investigate, or the President and his administration who were accused of the leak?

            And why do you believe the AP?

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:53:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Armando, do a deeper dive on authors of the NYT... (0+ / 0-)

        ...op-ed!

        Anyone endorsing this post has questionable rights to their claim that they're a "Democrat," IMHO!

        Kenneth L. Wainstein
        Kenneth Leonard Wainstein (born 1962) is an American lawyer.[1] He served as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and later as the Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush.

        Education
        Wainstein is a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.[1]

        Career
        Wainstein worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as General Counsel and as Chief of Staff to the FBI Director.[1] He was United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.[1]

        On September 26, 2006, he was sworn in as the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General responsible for National Security.[2]

        Wainstein was appointed Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush on March 30, 2008. He was also Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. He was appointed as the "National Continuity Coordinator" under the auspices of National Security Presidential Directive 51[3]

        Jamie Gorelick

        Jamie S. Gorelick (pron.: ɡəˈrɛlɪk; born May 6, 1950) is an American attorney, who represents BP.[1] She was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration. She was appointed by former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle to serve as a commissioner on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which sought to investigate the circumstances leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and also served as Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. Results of an internal audit showing improper accounting within Fannie Mae is given as the reason for her resignation. Her involvement in many of the major tragedies and high-profile American scandals of the past two decades has led some in the press to dub her the "Mistress of Disaster."[2] While at the US Department of Justice she authored the "Wall Memo" that prohibited open communications on terrorism within the FBI. Critics cite this action as one reason for lack of sharing intelligence prior to the September 11 attacks…

        Deputy Attorney General

        While serving as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, Gorelick spoke in favor of banning the use of strong encryption and called for a key escrow system to allow the Federal government access to encrypted communication.[5]

        Gorelick is a lobbyist for the lending industry fighting student loan reform[6]

        William P. Barr

        From 1973 to 1977, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

        In 1989, at the outset of his administration, President George H.W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor to the President and executive branch agencies.

        Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

        In May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr generally got high marks for his professional running of the Department.[4]

        In August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to run for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr moved into that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. Barr directed the F.B.I.'s Hostage Rescue Team to carry out an assault on the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6] It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr's handling of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

        The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[8] The New York Times described the "central theme" of his tenure to be: "his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders."[8] At the same time, reporters consistently describe Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[9]

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:30:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Journalist, Real Journalists (6+ / 0-)

    Should have their inner gifts of common sense and critical thinking already developed. instead of wasted away like many in the general public, Looking down the road at what information is fed them might bring, like death to others, if reported and not fed through lines of government, especially after these past recent years when the power was abused and devastating invations and occupations greatly increased the hatreds towards not only our government policies but all of us.

    Reason they were also right to go after the so called FOX pretend journalist!

    Can this be abused, certainly, but that's why we have levels or government and why we should hired representatives intelligent enough to understand reality and not go around making their own with their supporters cheering that on!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:41:48 AM PDT

  •  Very sreious backup for investigation of the AP. (7+ / 0-)

    The plot just got a lot thicker in my opionion.  We will need a lot of time to get at all the stuff in this case and then we have press freedom to concern ourselves with.  Serious stuff, this.

  •  They don't touch on one very important point: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, divineorder

    How was it necessary for the records to be obtained in secret with no judicial oversight whatsoever?

    What's chilling isn't that the DoJ might go to these lengths to investigate a leak. What's chilling is that no-one but them gets to decide what's legitimately a matter of national security and what's just politically embarrassing.

    (That, and their arguments in the Rosen case, which truly criminalize investigative reporting.)

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:42:50 AM PDT

    •  Just a plain ol' subpoena (6+ / 0-)

      It is the kind of thing that gets issued every day and responded to every day.  No special oversight needed.  We aren't talking about a search warrant, which requires a judge to check off on it.  They are just getting documents.  You or I could get the same documents.  Just file a miscellaneous action in court, request the clerk of court to issue a subpoena, and serve it on Verizon.  At Verizon's option, it might notify the holders of the telephone numbers in advance of responding, but it is up to them.  If there are no objections, or the objections are overruled, then you get your documents.  Easy as that.  Telecoms have departments devoted to responding to subpoenas.  They come in all the time relating to telemarketers, junk faxers, divorce proceedings, bankruptcies, and on and on.  It was ROUTINE, not something special that needed judicial oversight.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:56:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite so plain ol (0+ / 0-)

        Most subpoenas are issued to the targetted party.

        We know of course that phone records are held by 3rd parties but the general practice is to inform the target.

        The nat'l security exception is in play here.

        •  Not so. (4+ / 0-)

          I've issued many subpoenas to non-parties.

          I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

          by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:07:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course you have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            So have I.

            This is not standard third parties, these are third parties holding private information of other folks.

            There is a reason the DOJ felt it needed to exhaust other avenues for garnering the info it sought, it was decidedly not a "plain ol subpoena."  

            •  Is there an expectation of privacy? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deep Texan, Libbylalala

              The content of the phone calls is most likely private under Supreme Court precedent, but is the fact of the phone call also private?  I'm not a criminal lawyer or even a First Amendment specialist, but I am pretty sure the expectation of privacy does not extend to information held by third parties, even if they are members of the press.

              My understanding is that the reason the DOJ went through other avenues before issuing the subpoena was department policy only, and not because it was constrained by any law.

              I am not going to argue that the DOJ wasn't being very aggressive.  It definitely was.  But public policy and appearances don't make the matter of these subpoenas any less routine.  You may disagree with my characterization of the matter, but when compared to 4th Amendment procedures, this is pretty non-exceptional.

              I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

              by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:26:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've argued in state court (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Code Monkey

                that the existence of the communication is private for media because of the right to protect sources. And I won!  

                In some states, this is a matter of the shield law.

                In federal court, the right to shield sources is murky at best.

                A great concurring opinion came form Judge Tatel in the Judy Miller case but it was not adopted by the court.

                •  I'd love to hear the story (0+ / 0-)

                  Your practice sounds a lot more exciting than mine.

                  I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

                  by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:37:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not a big secret (0+ / 0-)

                    I represented a TV station that reported on a criminal proceeding with information it gained through confidential anonymous sources.

                    My client's phone records were subpoenaed. The phone company told us.

                    We moved to quash the subpoena and convinced a judge.

    •  I don't think we know details about how the (5+ / 0-)

      records were obtained.   The NY Times piece I linked uses the word "subpoena."  To me, that indicates that there had to be a court involved.  Every subpoena for records I've seen came from a court.  

      There's a danger in lumping these cases together.  Each one has to be considered according to its own facts and circumstances.  

      What bothers me is the ability to mislead readers by telling them only half a story.  It's insidious.  Most people take what they read at face value and they tend to believe it or disbelieve it  if they agree with its editorial content.  

      They don't consider what else there might be to the story.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ccyd, Quicklund

        at least in civil cases, attorneys issue subpoenas, even to third parties.

        And if the party subpoenaed has a basis for resisting the subpoena, they can move to quash (at least in the civil context.)

        Rule 45 of the FRCP.

      •  Subpoenas can be issued by a court (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, Deep Texan

        But the clerk of court is directed to issue the subpoena without any kind of judicial oversight.  It is ministerial.  I don't know for sure what the authority to issue these particular subpoenas comes from, but I saw a link to the federal regulation under which the subpoenas were issued in a NYT article about a week ago.

        People are confusing search warrants, which require magesterial oversight with subpoenas, which are routine and ministerial.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:14:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Assumes facts not in evidence (8+ / 0-)

    especially the whole "damaged national security" bit.

    I'm fairly confident the DOJ acted legally, but that's the scandal, what is legal.

    •  Exactly. Yes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, erush1345, Sylv

      I'm babbling in another thread, but that's just what I was trying to say: "I'm fairly confident the DOJ acted legally, but that's the scandal, what is legal."

      And how do you move forward from there?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:48:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, divineorder

      And I will add, it's not the APs job to protect US national security.  Even if their actions did hurt national security, that, by itself, is not a crime.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:53:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think this is true (5+ / 0-)
        Even if their actions did hurt national security, that, by itself, is not a crime.
        The trouble with this statement is the phrase "hurts national security" covers a broad spectrum. I am pretty sure that at some point not even a news organization can legally spread around damaging secret information.
        •  You'd be wrong (0+ / 0-)

          The government can ask publishers not to publish, and often they decide not to...but they are not required to.

          Absent any other crimes....it's the government's job to keep secret shit secret.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:05:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel

          Pretty sure based on what?

          The Pentagon Papers case says otherwise no?

          Now, can there be repercussions? Possibly but never has the gov't prosecuted a news organizations (not even Assange YET) for this.

          •  AP can publish DoD access codes and launch codes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Libbylalala

            Enough to allow a foreign power to hack our early warning and defense networks, info which would allow an adversary to to take down our defense net (if only for a brief while) and this act would be considered legal?

            I have a hard time believing that.

            The Pentagon Papers were nothing as compared to the above. The PP were a political embaressment, not a back door to attacking the USA.

            •  Prior restraint (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Empty Vessel, ccyd

              I suppose that could be argued  but that case has not yet been argued.

              The sum of the Pentagon Papers case states:

              "We granted certiorari in these cases in which the United States seeks to enjoin the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the contents of a classified study entitled "History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy." Post, pp. 942, 943.

              "Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity." Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 70 (1963); see also Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931). The Government "thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification for the imposition of such a restraint." Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415, 419 (1971). The District Court for the Southern District of New York in the New York Times case and the District Court for the District of Columbia and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Washington Post case held that the Government had not met that burden. We agree.
              The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is therefore affirmed. The order of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is reversed and the case is remanded with directions to enter a judgment affirming the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. The stays entered June 25, 1971, by the Court are vacated. The judgments shall issue forthwith.
              So ordered."

      •  You are wrong. Why should the press get to HURT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, Libbylalala

        national security? Unless we are sending the CIA to destablize a central american country or some other horro, but case by case, no press outlet should blow an ongoing terror operation

    •  Well, it appears, from what I have read, that (5+ / 0-)

      DOJ may have violated their own internal procedures by not informing AP before seeking the phone records.  

      With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:55:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that will come out in time (0+ / 0-)

        Right now, I am not relying on any of the 'details' being reported...it's too early.

        My comment was only concerning whether the AP has any LEGAL responsibility to protect national security.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:16:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The original AP story . . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, doroma

      http://www.denverpost.com/...

      “The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.”

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:13:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From Walter Pincus (14+ / 0-)

    at The Washington Post:

    Whoever provided the initial leak to the Associated Press in April 2012 not only broke the law but caused the abrupt end to a secret, joint U.S./Saudi/British operation in Yemen that offered valuable intelligence against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
    As journalists and politicians focus on what they say are too- broad subpoenas for records of 21 phone lines for AP offices and individuals, what’s lost is the damaging and criminal leak. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s initial comment to reporters last Tuesday that “it is within the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen” has been rejected. Journalists have heard that over the years.  This is different. The AP was working on a story where lives really could be at risk. Also at risk were the relationships between U.S., Saudi and British intelligence.

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

    by Fe Bongolan on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:47:38 AM PDT

  •  Awesome (6+ / 0-)

    Another Pro-Spying Democrat.

    this kind of shit woulda been unthinkable pre-2009.

    •  spying would be something like wiretaps (7+ / 0-)

      Issuing a routine subpoena for telephone records is not spying.  Are you saying the DOJ has no power to investigate national security leaks?

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:01:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you only wiretap (suspected) criminals (0+ / 0-)

        the AP does not meet that definition.

        •  There was no wiretapping. / (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBL55, Libbylalala

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but the subpooenas were equally far reaching (0+ / 0-)

            who needs wiretaps when you can get such a wealth of private information by just sending a subpoena?

            And that kind of subpoena on a press org is nothing like routine.

            •  If there were phone calls between an AP reporter (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Libbylalala

              and a public official or other government employee, the phone number might show up in the call records.  For instance, if there were calls between a member of the House Intelligence Committee who had acccess to sensitive information, I'd like to know that.  No wiretaps needed.  Nobody ever said it was routine.  The focus is the leaker.  It could be somebody feigning outrage over press freedom.  

              It almost seems to me that some people don't want the leaker's identity to come out.  Why not?   Afraid it might be someone you'd like to protect?

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 03:11:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Definitely... (0+ / 0-)

                That is the very point - leakers may not be identified via their press contacts.  

                Thats a very dangerous precedent.

                •  You'd be a lousy poker player. Common sense (0+ / 0-)

                  should tell that you don't show your cards to your opponenets during the game.  

                  People who work for the government with security clearance know the rules.  Loyalty counts.   We count of people to keep information from getting in the hands of dangerous people who would use it against us.  

                  Sometimes there are good reasons to leak information.  Bradley Manning did the right thing.  I say that because all of the details matter.  One individual, like Manning, can have a purety of intent without expecting any personal benefit from the leak.  Someone else may look at the information as a commodity that can be sold to the press without regard for consequences.  

                  My interest in the subject is different from yours.  I'm not in it to cheer for my favorite team.  It's not a contest.

                  There is no existence without doubt.

                  by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:44:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Try 2004. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cris0000, polecat, Joieau

      That's when Cheney arranged to have Plame's cover blown.

      "War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate." ~ Al Cleveland & Marvin Gaye (1970)

      by JBL55 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:02:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except it has happened before 2009 several times (6+ / 0-)

      You cannot honestly think this is the first time the government has clashed heads with the freedom of the press portion of the 1st A. I am  early 50s and I recall similar stories occasionally over time.

      •  Of course, I'm saying (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, Quicklund, bobswern, 4kedtongue

        no Daily Kos Democrat would've defend such an abuse of power pre-2009. Imagine a post appearing during the Bush administration. You can't.

        •  Thanks for the clarification (4+ / 0-)

          But the problem with the Bush Two Crew (or one of them at least) was how they did not follow established law or procedure or really anything they did not want to bother them. Whereas this incident involves government actors rigorously following written procedure.

          So to be honest I don't think we'd have gotten to this point by the same road were G.W. bush still driving.

        •  Sheild law (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gator Keyfitz, Libbylalala

          I think there should be a reporter's source sheild law, and maybe we will get one now.  But you can be sure that there will be a national security exception under which this situation would have fallen.

          I agree with you that this was a bad move on both policy and appearances, but it was legal, and would have been legal even if we had a sheild law.

          I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

          by ccyd on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:50:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem with assertions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4kedtongue

            of national security by the government is that the government can claim national security about almost anything, and never have to justify that to anybody. A situation that fairly begs for abuse, and abused it has been over the years.

            People who care enough to follow situations like this will take one of three views. 1. The Government Is Almost Always Right, and no mere citizen has any right to know about any of it. 2. The Government Is Almost Always Wrong, and no mere citizen should buy assertions of secrecy from any of them because they're mostly just covering up their own incompetence. 3. Will wait to see what comes out in court before deciding who's right or wrong.

            Obviously, the government has no problem outing NOC agents - even in immensely important anti-proliferation operations - if some high level wig has a score to settle with someone that agent knows. Were that not true none of us would know the name "Valerie Plame" and her operation would likely still be going. There were no significant penalties for that apart from the chosen scapegoat, and he wasn't prosecuted for the actual treason committed. So I'm highly skeptical of NS claims, and given the abuse of power to classify anything and everything across the board, I don't think any court should give 'em the benefit of doubt either.

            Show Me. Don't just make a spurious claim because you got caught violating somebody's rights and expect me to buy it.

            •  It can't be a spurious claim because the AP (0+ / 0-)

              article in question, published 5/7/2012, describes the plot that was thwarted by the CIA, and the writer went one step further.  He said the information was obtained a week earlier with a request from the source to delay publishing and an open admission that the information was published anyway, despite the request to wait.  

              The LA Times gives a thorough and detailed report of the damage that was done by publishing the leaked information.

              Now if you think there's a spurious claim somewhere, how do you explain the story that the AP put out?  

              When the AP started waving the letter it received as notification about its phone records, it never mentioned any of the history about the investigation but it knew very well starting from its own article on 5/7/2012.  Between that day and 6/8/2012, there was abundant coverage in the news about the uproar in Congress over the leak.

              The FBI testified before Congresson the matter reported on May 16.

              On June 8, Ronald Machen, US Attorney for the District of Columbia was appointedto take charge of the investigation into the leak to identify the leaker, who is presumably a government employee or elected official.  

              The AP was surprised to learn its phone records had been subpoena'd but it did know that there was an investigation to identify the leaker.  When the AP started yelling "foul" it didn't mention anything at all about the leaker and instead it portrayed itself as the victim of suppression.

              You may draw your own conclusions.  I'm sifting through a ton of material to gather information and weigh it.  I have a degree in Journalism I earned at NYU when standards were different than they are today.  I find troubling aspects throughout the story.  The AP writer knew very well that he was crossing a line and he's not even in the line of fire, now, though he may be if and when the leaker is identified.  He needs to be a big boy.  

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:17:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, come on! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                4kedtongue

                That story's got more holes in it than my fishnet stockings. I mean, the guy walks in and says he's got a plan to bomb an airliner, they give him the very latest fashion in explosive underwear and send him off to do the dirty deed. Meanwhile he tells his 'handlers' where their drone target hangs out. So after they drone the bad guy, diaper boy is supposed to walk right back in fit as you please, complain about how the underwear didn't blow as planned, and get the same gang all excited about whatever new and more imaginative plan he's concocted? What next? Exploding sneakers again?

                The CIA asked AP to hold the story for five days, you say they held it for a week. That was good of them, you'd think. AP never mentioned a double agent, but the rest of the media did (why aren't you wondering how the other media knew that when AP didn't tell 'em?). I don't see the gub'ment going after the other media's phone records.

                No biggie, says Brenner (really? Brenner?), "U.S. Authorities" had complete control of the plot all along, because they're the ones who fucking came up with it, and their golden boy was supposed to be the damned bomber. Holder - we all know how fond of truth, justice and the Amerikan way HE is - thinks it's the most serious leak he's ever seen, and god knows he's seen some leaks. And keeps right on striking out in his dedicated persecution of whistleblowers. All excited because now he thinks he can get one that will finally hold up in court.

                An unnamed "ex-CIA lawyer" however shrugs, says it's not that serious and Holder's overstepped his proper bounds. Again. You know, I'll bet there's people out there actually wondering how bad these baddies would be if the "U.S. Authorities" weren't constantly recruiting them into nefarious bomb plots on foreign soil so it's got bad guys to drone in other people's countries. I have an idea... how about not letting any wannabe bombers or self-professing Al Queda goons into the country? Let them stay in, say, Yemen! Or Saudi Arabia. Or wherever else "U.S. Authorities" have to go looking for them by advertising nefarious bomb plots in the local want ads seeking expertise in explosive Pampers.

                Meh. Still, we certainly pay "U.S. Authorities" enough for this War on Terra that they should have to justify themselves occasionally with assorted dead bodies that inevitably turn out to be bin Laden's right hand man(s) (he apparently had dozens of those) and/or their wives, children, domestic workers, drivers and concubines. Plus some anonymous neighbors ALWAYS characterized as 29 'insurgents' or something equivalent.

                You're anxious for Holder's target this time to be "a big boy." Maybe you'll get your wish. But my money's on a junior cubicle flunky. Who no doubt will, the moment they've got him, get a very sudden promotion to "big boy" status (just so everybody looks good while trying him on the Sunday talk-talks). Whereupon he'll rot in solitary in some undisclosed location because the whole mess is so fucking secret that giving him a day in court would defeat the entire Kabuki purpose.

                But that's just me. Guess we'll see how it all shakes out in the wash. Or not.

    •  Me too. There was no compelling reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Lippman, Libbylalala

      to blow this operation for a scoop or the reporter's ego.

      case by case, sometimes the press should sTFU

    •  Don't. (0+ / 0-)

      Understood?

      I'm not going to let you get away with that.  You are lying about the content of my diary and I don't appreciate it.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What're u gonna do, tough guy? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern, 4kedtongue

        Spy on me?

        You wrote an embarrassing post, deal with it.

        •  Over the top dontcha think David? (6+ / 0-)

          I don;t agree with the diary but it is hardly an embarassment.

          •  Perhaps I was inspired to hyperbolize (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4kedtongue

            by: "I'm not going to let you get away with that. "

            At any rate, embarrassment is subjective of course. I doubt that the poster is embarrassed to have written a piece defending a government abuse (the extent of which is still unknown and could include illegality.) But I would be embarrassed to have written or rec'd it.  

          •  No, Armando, it's a neocon turd...definitely... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            david mizner, 4kedtongue

            ...an embarrassment.

            Unless you attach any semblance of validity to some of the most rightwing folks that have ever been associated with the DoJ in the past generation? Do you?

            Seriously?! This post is a joke.

            Anyone rec'ing this excuse for an "argument" should FIRST take a deeper dive concerning the authors involved!

            Stop the Leaks

            Kenneth L. Wainstein
            Kenneth Leonard Wainstein (born 1962) is an American lawyer.[1] He served as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and later as the Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush.

            Career
            Wainstein worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as General Counsel and as Chief of Staff to the FBI Director.[1] He was United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.[1]

            On September 26, 2006, he was sworn in as the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General responsible for National Security.[2]

            Wainstein was appointed Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush on March 30, 2008. He was also Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. He was appointed as the "National Continuity Coordinator" under the auspices of National Security Presidential Directive 51[3]

            Jamie Gorelick

            Jamie S. Gorelick (pron.: ɡəˈrɛlɪk; born May 6, 1950) is an American attorney, who represents BP.[1] She was Deputy Attorney General of the United States during the Clinton administration. She was appointed by former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle to serve as a commissioner on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which sought to investigate the circumstances leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and also served as Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae. Results of an internal audit showing improper accounting within Fannie Mae is given as the reason for her resignation. Her involvement in many of the major tragedies and high-profile American scandals of the past two decades has led some in the press to dub her the "Mistress of Disaster."[2] While at the US Department of Justice she authored the "Wall Memo" that prohibited open communications on terrorism within the FBI. Critics cite this action as one reason for lack of sharing intelligence prior to the September 11 attacks…

            Deputy Attorney General

            While serving as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, Gorelick spoke in favor of banning the use of strong encryption and called for a key escrow system to allow the Federal government access to encrypted communication.[5]

            Gorelick is a lobbyist for the lending industry fighting student loan reform[6]

            William P. Barr

            From 1973 to 1977, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

            In 1989, at the outset of his administration, President George H.W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor to the President and executive branch agencies.

            Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

            In May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr generally got high marks for his professional running of the Department.[4]

            In August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to run for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr moved into that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. Barr directed the F.B.I.'s Hostage Rescue Team to carry out an assault on the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6] It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr's handling of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

            The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[8] The New York Times described the "central theme" of his tenure to be: "his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders."[8] At the same time, reporters consistently describe Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[9]

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:59:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  When you read, it's important to let the written (0+ / 0-)

          words speak to you without adding or subtracting anything of your own.  

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:43:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Never compromise a current operation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, doroma, Libbylalala

    should be the rule unless the "current operation" is the illegal secret bombing of Cambodia, which was a real crime to be reported

    the AP should be investigated for this

  •  what an incredible crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    So you bought the government line? Hook, line and sinker?

    The ability of the press to find and publish leaks is instrumental for the well-being of the state.

    The various recent justice department subpoenas against press organs undermine this very ability. Completely. If you can't trust the press to keep your secret, you won't talk to them.

    It is completely irrelevant if that particular leak undermined state this or exposed national that. Once it was out, it was out of their hands - or should have been.

    Do you want to live in a country where the press only prints state authorized bulletins?

    •  The subject of the diary isn't me, what I bought (3+ / 0-)

      or didn't buy.  The subject is whether the DOJ was justified in obtaining the AP's phone records to identify the source of a leak.

      Did you read the diary? You and many others might try taking your blinders off for just a moment.  You can put them back on again later.

      Once they're off, do you notice that the source of the leak was somewhere in the government?  A public employee.  I'd like to know who that individual is.  Do I have to spell that out further?  

      As for your last question, what does the press print today but what its corporate owners allow.  The members of the 1% elite privileged few with the concentration of wealth they accumulated over the last decades own the newsmedia and they only allow reporting on matters that benefit them.

      Do I have to go down the long list of topics that appear nowhere in the US newsmedia?

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:58:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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