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.
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.
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.
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.