DOJ Seizes AP Phone Records, POTUS Knows Nothing

One thing that seems to be missing is the timeline for when the records were seized and when the warrant was provided to the Associated Press. This appears to be a case of delayed notification, what the Left called “sneak and peek” back when Bush was POTUS, if a warrant was even provided. No article mentions the word “warrant”

(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 outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.

In all, the government seized the 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 where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

Did they have a warrant? What judge signed off on it? Oh, and

(Fox News) Rules published by the Justice Department require that subpoenas of records of 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 through subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

Did he sign off on this? He was bound by law to do so, or delegate the duty, but, either way, he would have had to know about it. One would think that for such a massive intrusion of the 1st Amendment the AG might inform the president

(The Hill) The White House on Monday distanced President Obama from the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records.

“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

At what point does the White House actually know something? Obama didn’t seem to be involved with anything while our consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi was assaulted. After his regularly scheduled meeting with SecDef Leon Panetta, Obama disappeared. He knows nothing about the illegal harassment of whistleblowers. He knew nothing of Fast and Furious, a project involving multiple Executive Office agencies that walked guns across the border into a sovereign nation without informing that nation. He seemingly knows nothing of the IRS scandal. What, exactly, does this president know? For someone who complained about Bush and would say “the buck stops here”, nothing ever seems to make it to his desk. Obama is a president divorced from what’s going on around him, or at least says he is.

There will be pointed questions for Eric Holder during the newly announced House hearing on Wednesday, and one of the questions asked should be “did you inform President Obama?” It’s high time to stop the imperial president.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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11 Responses to “DOJ Seizes AP Phone Records, POTUS Knows Nothing”

  1. john says:

    Don’t like taht patriot Act so much under Obama ?

  2. Didn’t like it so much back under Bush, either. Delayed Notification has been around since Carter, John, and shouldn’t be used in this manner.

    Do you think using delayed notification is a good thing, John, in this case?

  3. UncleDan says:

    John, am I to understand that since Bush implemented the Patriot Act, it’s OK for Obama to take it to the next level? In fact, what has Obama done DIFFERENT than what you guys hated about Bush, EXCEPT to make things worse?
    By the comments of Leftist apologists, it’s OK because it’s THEIR side doing the spying and killing now.
    When Obama was willing to go after the Right, it was OK because it was your guy going after the ‘bad guys’. Now we see Obama is going after the media too. Can you NOT put the pieces together and see that this administration is totally out of control and will go after ANYONE who stands in their way?
    Patriot Act, domestic drones, domestic spying, IRS used as muscle against opponents, gun running – ALL this has to stop – NOW. Whether it’s being done by the Right or the Left.

  4. The AP story may be the most damning for Obama, because if they turn on him over this, they will start investigating the hell out of everything else.

  5. Them's_Fightin'_Gumballs says:

    Right Teach and UncleDan.
    This is way out of control. And we true protectors of freedom knew it would too when all this started. We hated the Patriot Act. It had a time-limit on it, and your president reauthorized it and expanded it Johnny boy! How about that?

    Does anyone really think that the DOJ would go to all this trouble to just get outgoing call logs over a 2 month timeframe and not do anything with that info? That they didn’t track those numbers? That they didn’t tap in to conversations? Didn’t track numbers down and see what affiliations those people had?

    We’ve seen the DOJ assassinate entire compounds of people who stand in their way. What would they do to protect themselves from reporters?

  6. gitarcarver says:

    I may be of a slightly different mindset on this.

    A few months ago we were all complaining about the national security leaks that were going on that were putting people in danger or giving intelligence capabilities to those who wish to do us harm.

    I am glad the DOJ is seeking to find those who are putting headlines ahead of lives.

    However, what bothers me is the scope of the records grab. The DOJ didn’t go after the records of a few people, but rather an entire division of the AP. This was not part of a legitimate investigation, but rather a wholesale fishing expedition. This is exactly the type of overreach the Constitution protects citizens against.

    John’s attempt at equivocation to the Patriot Act is misplaced at best because even the Patriot Act does not allow such a broad net to be cast.

    There is a right and legal way to do things in investigations.

    And then there is the DOJ way.

  7. Them's_Fightin'_Gumballs says:

    Oh, I understand GC. And like you say, the outrage is over the sheer size of this “seizure” of information and how they went about it. I was outraged that Pres Bush didn’t go after the media when all of the leaks happened under his watch, and if I recall it was by the NY Times. But…. leaks have to come FROM the gov’t first… right?

    Hey DOJ.. better look inside first before you start demanding the press give up their sources.

    We are seeing more and more instances where the gov’t does something without proof, justification, or a warrant. Here is the latest example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS6PnVMdViQ

    And now there are lawsuits against the IRS for seizing what is said to be 10 million patient records without warrant or subpoena from California.

  8. gitarcarver says:

    Gumball,

    I watched the video and while I am not willing to give the police a pass, I am not willing to condemn them as well. This is an awfully short video and we don’t know what led up to it and we don’t know what the deputies saw when they looked in the home. We don’t know if someone was bleeding or whatever.

    For now, I am going to remain neutral on this one.

  9. Them's_Fightin'_Gumballs says:

    True.
    According to the website and InfoWars, there was an anonymous call in to the police of suspected domestic violence type activity.

    If there was bleeding, would there be a reason to taze both parties? If both parties (man and woman) are both claiming that nothing is going on, and IF there was no visible signs of abuse, then just ignoring cops while in your own home is no reason for the police to bust in the door and taze both parties.

    And with both parties having their hands up, again, no reason to taze both parties, especially after the officer had grabbed them. You don’t just barge in with guns drawn and taze people.

    IMuneducatedHO, this was a home invasion and kidnapping. Yep, i have my anti-big gov’t tin foil hat on.

    But yes, I would be interested in seeing any official news articles and if there were any outcomes following the events in the video. Like, were they arrested and if so, what charge? Who was the caller? What did the police report seeing that justified a warrantless busting in and tazing homeowners?

  10. gitarcarver says:

    According to the website and InfoWars, there was an anonymous call in to the police of suspected domestic violence type activity.

    Infowars? Seriously?

    And with both parties having their hands up, again, no reason to taze both parties, especially after the officer had grabbed them. You don’t just barge in with guns drawn and taze people.

    If those are the facts, then I agree with you. Suppose the police had responded and when they get out of their vehicles, they can hear the couple screaming, yelling and things breaking. Now suppose the wife has her hair all messed up and a swollen eye? Does that change your perception? What if the cops look in the windows and see illegal drugs on the coffee table? And a weapon?

    I have a good friend who is a deputy sheriff who says that domestic violence calls are the worst to handle. He says that either you are stuck in the middle of a scrap between the couple, or the couple bans together against the cops. It is a no win situation.

    I am just not willing to say the cops were wrong in this situation because there is not enough information.

    Just like any profession, there are good cops and there are bad cops. Maybe the cops over-reacted in this case and were wrong. If that is the case, then they should be held accountable and prosecuted. But we don’t know the whole story and for every scenario that can be created showing the cops were wrong, there is another one that says the cops acted reasonably and within their authority.

  11. Them's_Fightin'_Gumballs says:

    Infowars? Seriously?

    Yeah, I know, but they had more of the “story” than the youtube website did.

    And, if you can’t trust the regular media any more….. ?

    I am just not willing to say the cops were wrong in this situation because there is not enough information.

    I agree. And like I said, I too await further word of what led up to this incident and what reports and actions came out of it.

    However, my “unjust gov’t” alarm gets triggered of late when I see things like this. I don’t trust first and then ask questions later. I assume the worst. I wish I didn’t. But, with the massive growth in Big Brother\Nanny-state over the last 20 years, how they seek to undermine personal freedoms, invading privacy, stealing property, etc.

    Now, let’s say that there might have been some cause for action by these cops. You’d think that the first call out would be for the people to put their hands up. Second call would be to get on the floor or to come out of the house – so that they were away from kids inside. Then after a while in this stance, if further instructions were to be ignored, then I could see a more aggressive approach being taken.

    But, even your suggestion that if they “saw a gun on a table”, that too me is still not reason enough to barge in. Guns are legally allowed to be in a home where ever a person wants them to be – except in chicago of course and parts of California where this video occurred. I don’t recognize the name of this town so am not familiar if they would have had a mandatory gun safe law – where all guns have to be locked up at all times no excuses.

    In this day and age, it is not a hardship for cops to get warrants. There were at least 3-5 cops standing there guarding the place, looking in the windows. They had time to call for a warrant. Was there a supervisor on scene? That would be good to know. Did they call a supervisor? How long were they on the scene prior to busting down the door?

    I understand your hesitancy and your defense of good, which leads you to assume good intentions from the start, but my tin foil hat tells me to take the opposite reaction.

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