by Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report dot com
The so-called “progressives” who decried the Bush administration’s anti-constitutional moves against the media are now singing the praises of the Obama administration for carrying out not only the same policies but ratcheting them up to include surveillance “fishing expeditions” against reporters for the Associated Press and The New York Times, among other media organizations.
The Eric Holder Justice Department has been misusing the National Security Letter and secret grand jury processes to obtain the records of telephone calls of over 100 AP reporters.
The reason is the same used by the Nixon administration to plug leaks to the press: “national security.” National security is always the excuse used by fascist governments to abrogate constitutional freedoms and it is the last refuse of scoundrels, paraphrasing Samuel Johnson’s description of false patriotism.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) recently revealed that FBI trap and trace and pen register taps on phones at the House Press Gallery included those used by House members in the House Cloak Room, a private members-only antechamber that is used by House members to conduct business, including talking to reporters from Cloak Room phones, between House floor votes.
“Liberal” commentators and the hopelessly neo-con Atlantic are claiming that Nunes has no idea what he’s talking about. However, the Justice Department admits it monitored in-coming and outgoing calls of the House Press Gallery, which is on the floor just above the Cloak Room. The House telephone system is not state-of-the-art and central switches handle the lines for multiple offices and rooms, so there is every possibility that the House Press Gallery and Cloak Room are on the same switch.
The free pass given by the so-called progressives, including such George Soros-funded operations as the Center for American Progress and Think Progress and its editor Josh Marshall, as well as the continually Cass Sunstein sock puppet-infested DailyKos and Democratic Underground, to the White House’s Nixonian espionage directed against the press, is not really surprising. These coin-operated marionettes for Obama are shills and trained circus seals, not to be taken seriously.
Neither should the ridiculous praise heaped on Holder by Congressional Black Caucus members of the House Judiciary Committee during its May 15 hearing be taken seriously. The “Birth of a Nation” award certainly goes to Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) who asked Holder why the 1917 Espionage Act, already used in an unprecedented manner by the Obama administration to indict six government employees for leaking so-called “classified information” to the press, cannot be used to prosecute reporters who publish classified information. The Espionage Act has only been used three times in the past since in its enactment, which means that the Obama administration has doubled the use of the arcane law over all previous administrations combined.
Johnson is the same moron who asked during a House hearing whether stationing more U.S. military forces on Guam might result in the island “capsizing.” He also backed federal helium subsidies because he worries about “a world without balloons.” The people of the Fourth District of Georgia, once represented by the no-nonsense Cynthia McKinney, deserve better than having an abject idiot representing them in Congress.
It’s pretty sad when Obama and Holder can only be rescued by an idiot like Johnson and runners-up in the imbecile division of the Congressional Black Caucus like Sheila Jackson-Lee, Mel Watt, and Bobby Scott. McKinney once said that she could deal with Southern white rednecks much easier than with fellow black caucus members. She said, “I know where the rednecks are coming from and can deal with them directly on issues . . . but the black caucus would just as soon stab you in the back.” And they did stab McKinney in the back when she most needed their help.
Holder claims that the investigation of the AP is in the able hands of U.S. Attorney for DC Ronald Machen, Jr. and U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein, the latter a Bush holdover. Rosenstein is responsible for the egregious national security prosecution of National Security Agency (NSA) analyst Ken Ford, Jr., whose only crime was to conclude that based on NSA intercepts of Iraqi communications there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Machen is another African-American toadie who is being groomed for higher office and who would rather kneel at the foot of Obama’s throne than carry out the dictates of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Currently, Holder has empaneled one or more secret grand juries in an investigation of three so-called “national security” leaks. Up to eight reporters for the AP and New York Times are being investigated to determine their confidential news sources. They are Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Kimberly Dozier, Eileen Sullivan, Alan Fram, and editor Ted Bridis of the AP for their report on a CIA counter-terrorism operation in Yemen; Times’ reporter James Risen for his report on Operation MERLIN, a CIA plot to send Iran flawed nuclear parts during the Clinton administration, and the Times’ David Sanger for his report on the CIA’s involvement with the infection of Iranian computers with the Stuxnet computer virus.
There is also the curious addition of the AP’s Hartford, Connecticut bureau in the subpoena of AP phone records. Apuzzo worked in the AP’s Hartford office some years ago. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who is in charge of the AP leak case during Holder’s recusal, has stated that the Justice Department’s focus is on AP toll records that are “narrowly focused” on relevant calls during the two-moth period of April and May 2012. Why, then, would the Hartford bureau be included? Does the breadth of Justice’s fishing expedition extend back to Apuzzo’s sources when he worked in Hartford? While in Hartford, Apuzzo covered state government corruption as part of a three-person investigative team and in 2004 he covered the federal corruption trial of Republican Governor John Rowland.
Hartford poses a problem for Cole and Holder. If Justice’s focus is on AP’s April and May 2012 calls, including those of Apuzzo, who works in the AP’s Washington bureau covering Justice and the federal courts, of what relevance are the Hartford bureau’s call records to the case? Justice may be lying and its probe actually extends back to 2004 in order to ascertain Apuzzo’s sources in the Justice Department who were prosecuting Rowland and other Connecticut state officials at the time. Later assigned to the AP’s Justice Department and federal courts beat in DC, Apuzzo covered the federal prosecution of I. Lewis Scooter Libby and Jack Abramoff, where he undoubtedly picked up additional Justice Department sources..
White House press Secretary Jay Carney stated on May 14 that if people “knew the background of the president, they would understand where he’s coming from” on issues of press freedom. Carney was obviously referring to Obama’s alleged past as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago. However, Carney’s statement is instructive in one area. If the American people actually knew the CIA background of Obama, his mother, maternal grandparents, step-father, and father, they would really understand where Obama’s “coming from.” The first African-American president is also the first college-recruited covert CIA field asset to become president. The CIA would not have it any other way.