In an effort to discover who leaked information to Associated Press reporters regarding the details of a CIA operation that squashed a terror plan the Department of Justice secretly obtained 2 months worth of phone records of 20 phone lines in AP offices of which a 100 reporters used.
The purpose of the Press is to expose corruption in government. This invasive intrusion into the workings of the Press by the government will have a chilling effect on the ability of the Press and its sources to reveal the truth of what the government wants to hide from the citizens, Ala’ Benghazi.
What they are saying:
Patrick Henry: “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
John F. Kennedy: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt: “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.”
“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.” Pruitt has demanded that the department return all records collected and destroy all copies.
Ben Wizner, ACLU: “Obtaining a broadrange of telephone records in order to ferret out a government leaker is an unacceptable abuse of power.” “Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters and their sources.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.): “Any abridgement of the First Amendment right to the freedom of the press is very concerning.”
Senator Patrick Leahy: “I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government’s explanation.”
Congressman Darrell Issa: “They’re looking at what is considered to be confidential.”
Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Office: “The media’s purpose is to keep the public informed and it should be free to do so without the threat of unwarranted surveillance,” “The Attorney General must explain the Justice Department’s actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press intimidation does not happen again.”
Thomas Jefferson: “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”