GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hingmarsh. Show Hingmarsh's posts

    GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    I wonder if this was a low level minion at the DOJ.  (Snort)

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/govt-obtains-wide-ap-phone-records-probe

     

    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 incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.

    In all, the government seized those 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 whose 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. U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked 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 and largely unprecedented.

    In the letter notifying the AP 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 leaking classified information, more than under all previous presidents combined.

    Justice Department published rules require that subpoenas of records from 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 though subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

    Spokesmen in Machen's office and at the Justice Department had no immediate comment on Monday.

    The Justice Department lays out strict rules for efforts to get phone records from news organizations. A subpoena can only be considered 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 has 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 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 one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.

    The plot was significant because the White House 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 government officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP disclosed the plot because officials said it no longer endangered national security. The Obama administration, however, 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 leaks 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 said.

    He also defended the White House's plan to discuss the plot immediately 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-Qa'ida plot," Brennan told senators.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    If you're an Obama administration official, it was a bad week to quick smoking crack.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sistersledge. Show Sistersledge's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Do you think somebody in the Press might have gotten his or hers hands on Classified Data from Issa and now the DOJ is tapping their phones .....

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Apparently it was a bad week to quit mushrooms too.

     

     
  5. This post has been removed.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sistersledge. Show Sistersledge's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

     

    Apparently it was a bad week to quit mushrooms too.

     

     




    StalkingButler didn't you read the latest from Alex Jones that one of the members of the House of Representatives is really a " Manchurian Candidate for an Middle Eastern country ?


    btw lay off the Rocket Fuel

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    ACC: The Patriot Act, bad as it is, was an effective and safe tool in

    adult hands.

     

    Sister: Here's the kind of week it was, I found myself agreeing with

    Denis Kucinich. Seriously.

    Alex Jones, on the other hand, is still a tool.

    And I've been off the rocket fuel for years now.

     

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sistersledge. Show Sistersledge's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

    ACC: The Patriot Act, bad as it is, was an effective and safe tool in

    adult hands.

     

    Sister: Here's the kind of week it was, I found myself agreeing with

    Denis Kucinich. Seriously.

    Alex Jones, on the other hand, is still a tool.

    And I've been off the rocket fuel for years now.

     

     




    So StalkingButler are you implying that the Obama Administration is just running wild and riding roughshod over the Consitution like other administrations and not investigating a National Security leak ?

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    I'm saying that this administration is out-Nixoning Nixon, that's what I'm saying.

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

    Welcome to the era of the Patriot Act.

    No one, especially the neo-cons, should be surprised.

     



    Bush did it!  You are nothing if not predictable.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to Sistersledge's comment:

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

     

    Apparently it was a bad week to quit mushrooms too.

     

     




    StalkingButler didn't you read the latest from Alex Jones that one of the members of the House of Representatives is really a " Manchurian Candidate for an Middle Eastern country ?


    btw lay off the Rocket Fuel




    Just when we all think that that kook Alex Jones is in the rearview mirror, turns out he's right on this " government spying on us" stuff after all.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sistersledge. Show Sistersledge's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

    I'm saying that this administration is out-Nixoning Nixon, that's what I'm saying.

     




    Sounds like to me that the 4th Estate is out of control i.e. tipping off the enemy of our informats .

     
  13. This post has been removed.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

     

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

     

    Welcome to the era of the Patriot Act.

    No one, especially the neo-cons, should be surprised.

     

     



    Bush did it!  You are nothing if not predictable.

     

     




    Ahhh, typical pathetic response from the peanut gallery.

     

    Bring up Bush and then blame others for doing it.

    Sorry dumbo, but nothing in my post even remotely referenced Bush.

    Sad that you're so defensive about your train wreck past leader.




    You mean, it's NOT Bush's fault?  You are laying the blame for this atthe feet of Obama?

    Times sure have changed.

     
  15. This post has been removed.

     
  16. This post has been removed.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Just when we all think that that kook Alex Jones is in the rearview mirror, turns out he's right on this " government spying on us" stuff after all.

     

    You know the line about the stopped clock, right?

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

    In response to skeeter20's comment:

     

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

     

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

     

    In response to A_Concerned_Citizen's comment:

     

    Welcome to the era of the Patriot Act.

    No one, especially the neo-cons, should be surprised.

     

     



    Bush did it!  You are nothing if not predictable.

     

     




    Ahhh, typical pathetic response from the peanut gallery.

     

    Bring up Bush and then blame others for doing it.

    Sorry dumbo, but nothing in my post even remotely referenced Bush.

    Sad that you're so defensive about your train wreck past leader.

     




    You mean, it's NOT Bush's fault?  You are laying the blame for this atthe feet of Obama?

     

    Times sure have changed.

     




    Well lookie there, another dumbo lining up in the dunce corner.

     

    Sorry dumbo 2, nothing in my post referenced Obama either.

    You maroons really have a reading comprehension issue. ESL classes may help.

     



    So, who's fault is it? Some low-level government employee?

    it is so funny when the progressives run our of spin.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

    Just when we all think that that kook Alex Jones is in the rearview mirror, turns out he's right on this " government spying on us" stuff after all.

     

    You know the line about the stopped clock, right?

     



    Yah.  I find it actually somewhat disturbing that kooks like Alex jones turn out to be somewhat right on some of this government overreach And spying on us.  Heck, even the progressives are right on this one.  Didn't they spend every waking moment during the Bush administration warning us about this kind of stuff?  Just turns out is wasn't Bush, it was their guy.

    still haven't found the FEMA detention camps jones talks about, but this news cycle is young.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sistersledge. Show Sistersledge's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    In response to skeeter20's comment:

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

     

    Just when we all think that that kook Alex Jones is in the rearview mirror, turns out he's right on this " government spying on us" stuff after all.

     

    You know the line about the stopped clock, right?

     

     



    Yah.  I find it actually somewhat disturbing that kooks like Alex jones turn out to be somewhat right on some of this government overreach And spying on us.  Heck, even the progressives are right on this one.  Didn't they spend every waking moment during the Bush administration warning us about this kind of stuff?  Just turns out is wasn't Bush, it was their guy.

     

    still haven't found the FEMA detention camps jones talks about, but this news cycle is young.




    Who's spying on you skeeter .........  the AP couldn't wait to break a story and they didn't care about outing a informat we had in Al Queda. AP agreed with the Administration and the CIA not to publish the story of a potential bombing until they got the ok but they broke the story while the CIA was still working on the case .... to me it doesn't sound like the DOJ did anything that isn't in their powers to do and they didn't tape anything just got times , dates and who were involved in the calls.

    I hope there is investigations and we find out why the DOJ were checking on phone calls coming from the House of Representatives .

     

     
  21. This post has been removed.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    I don't know what the AP is so bothered about. The AP is a corportation and we all know that corporations don't have civil rights.

     

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from DamainAllen. Show DamainAllen's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Almost one year ago, to the day, congressional leaders were calling for an investigation into the leak that allowed the AP to get their hands on the story a week before the government was ready to disclose publically details of the foiled plot.  Though the AP did hold onto the story for a week, when they published it, a day before the government planned to announce the details they also included details that the CIA ran the operation which obviously signalled to bad guys in Yemen that they their operations had been infiltrated. 

    Fast forward to day, following a year of investigations the government disclosed to the AP, per the law, that it had obtained records of calls to 20 or so phone lines.  And now congress is up in arms over the investigation they requested in the first place?  The reporters aren't the targets, their source for the story is, and it is likely if the AP knew information was being gathered they may have hunkered down in order to protect the source (after all someone with intimate knowledge of top secret CIA activities is a pretty prime source to have at your disposal).

    I am not buying any conspiracy crap about this, since this is the inevitable fall out from calls for an investigation to find out who leaked classified information about CIA operations in Yemen that probably burned a valuable intelligence asset who had already infiltrated the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda. 

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Damian, It's the AP that's "up in arms"

    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.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from DamainAllen. Show DamainAllen's posts

    Re: GOVT OBTAINS WIDE AP PHONE RECORDS IN PROBE

    Yes, understandably, the AP sources are at risk so from an organizational perspective they HAVE to raise a stink. 

    That said, my post was to do with the folks in government already trying to gin up a scandal, over a scandal they themselves asked to be investigated a year ago.  The reporting on this is awful and makes it seem like the DoJ did some sort of warrantless wiretap or used some other less than ethical method when in fact it appears a special subpeona for obtaining information from media outlets was issued. 

     
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