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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

AP spying: Were other news journals targeted too?

Not much time to write, but I did want to mention the one real Obama administration scandal to emerge in recent days. Benghazi and the IRS thing are, in my view, overblown political theatricals. But the revelation that the Justice Department has scooped up the phone records of  AP reporters...?

Ah. That's genuine.

And genuinely outrageous, despite the valiant attempts of this Josh Marshall contributor to justify the spookery.

Your best guide to this scandal is, of course, Marcy Wheeler. She takes on the task of trying to determine just which sources the DOJ hoped to track.
If so, it means the government grabbed phone records for Adam Goldman, Matt Apuzzo, Kimberly Dozier, Eileen Sullivan, and Alan Fram for three weeks after (and five weeks before) the UndieBomb 2.0 story Goldman and Apuzzo by-lined.

That would mean they’d get the sources for this Kimberly Dozier story published May 21 which starts,
White House counterterror chief John Brennan has seized the lead in guiding the debate on which terror leaders will be targeted for drone attacks or raids, establishing a new procedure to vet both military and CIA targets.

The move concentrates power over the use of lethal U.S. force outside war zones at the White House.

The process, which is about a month old, means Brennan’s staff consults the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies as to who should go on the list, making a previous military-run review process in place since 2009 less relevant, according to two current and three former U.S. officials aware of the evolution in how the government targets terrorists.
Within 10 days of the time Dozier published that story, John Brennan had rolled out an enormous propaganda campaign — based on descriptions of the drone targeting process that Brennan’s power grab had replaced, not the new drone targeting process — that suckered almost everyone commenting on drones that drone targeting retained its previous, more deliberative, targeting process, the one Brennan had just changed.

And that propaganda campaign, in turn, hid another apparent detail: that UndieBomb 2.0, a Saudi sting had actually occurred earlier in April, and that UndieBomb 2.0 preceded and perhaps justified the signature strikes done at the behest of the Yemenis (or more likely the Saudis).
I don't think this story will stay confined to the AP. In the comments section, Marcy writes:
I just was re-reading the Washington Post story bylined by Sudarsan Raghavan, Peter Finn and Greg Miller from May 09, 2012 (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-05-09/world/35456649_1_underwear-bomb-bomb-plot-al-qaeda).

Yes, and it sure has a lot of details about the UndieBomb 2.0 operation that one would presume were highly classified being revealed by both current and former US intelligence officials.

Maybe the letters to the other news organizations are in the mail?
Will this important story get the play it deserves? Hard to say. The hard rightists do not much care for what they call the "lamestream" press, conservatives did not complain when Dubya gifted us with the surveillance state, and nobody can pretend that Romney would have had run a less snoopy government. So I doubt that Issa will demand hearings on the AP scandal, because there would be no partisan advantage in doing so.

On the other hand, the press has every motive to publicize this story with neon headlines, and to insist that the guilty are punished. It's a matter of self-protection.

If someone confirms Marcy's suspicion that Holder also went after the Washington Post -- well. Expect Hell.
Comments:
"Expect Hell." Let's rephrase that in a more realistic manner: expect that American journalists will continue to act like cheap prostitutes who are afraid of being beaten or humiliated in public or having what few privileges they have left taken away from them.
 
And just who released the info that the press had there phone records spyed on? The press had to be told so they would know enmass to toe the line. One can not be intimidated unless you are told what the punishment will be! So I expect the obsequious press to pretend outrage and then put their well worn knee pads on and proceed as before!
What good is information of this nature if you don't tell them you have it? All the better to intimidate with!

 
Been going on for ages. All part of the "War on Truth" that the last two administrations have been prosecuting so efficiently.

What is interesting is that the "coalition of the complicit" seems to be breaking down. After all, there was plenty of unconstitutional stuff for the Repugs to complain about and oppose if they cared. They didnt. I guess the gloves are off cos Barky is now a lame duck. The campaign for next presider in chief has already started.

I hope and I pray, that John Brennan burns in hell for his sins. But it would be nice if he was prosecuted in this life as well.

Harry
 
Benghazi and the IRS thing are, in my view, overblown political theatricals.

Right, because at Benghazi people were actually killed while the President hit the snooze alarm so he'd be fresh for his Vegas fundraising. That's obviously nowhere near as important as Holder requesting the phone records of the DC Stenographic Society. I think it's all bad, Joseph.
 
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