(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
“On Freedom of Speech and the Press”, Pennsylvania Gazette, 17 November 1737
The latest Obama administration headache, “AP-Gate,” that it essentially created on its own, goes the core of the principles on which this country was founded. There is a good reason that the very first amendment addresses freedom of speech and a free press. Yes, at times they have appeared to be just another arm of the government, especially when they spewed the propaganda about 9/11 and Iraq. But every once in awhile they get it right, like the New York Times did on June 13, 1971 when they exposed the dirty secrets of the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration by printing the first segment of the Pentagon Papers. Looking at what happened in the aftermath of those revelations and how it all worked out in the end, reminds us that sometimes government functions in spite of itself.
It’s fairly obvious that the Obama administration is trying to cover its own complicity in what Attorney General Eric Holder labeled among “the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen” putting “the American people at risk.” Those proclamations about that leak are laughable since the reason Holder had recused himself from the investigation is that he, himself, is at the center of the storm, along with the new CIA Director John Brennan. All in the name of the continued cover up of the Bush and Obama war crimes.
In an editorial, the New York Times called out the Obama administration for its “chilling zeal for investigating leaks and prosecuting leakers” and its lack of a credible reason for it “for secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press.”
Both Mr. Holder and Mr. Cole declared their commitment – and that of President Obama – to press freedoms. Mr. Cole said the administration does not “take lightly” such secretive trolling through media records.
We are not convinced. For more than 30 years, the news media and the government have used a well-honed system to balance the government’s need to pursue criminals or national security breaches with the media’s constitutional right to inform the public. This action against The A.P., as the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press outlined in a letter to Mr. Holder, “calls into question the very integrity” of the administration’s policy toward the press.
As matter of fact, in September 2009, President Obama did a complete reversal of his position on the reporter shield law that he supported in 2007. What he proposed and Democrats opposed, would have gutted judicial review. Rachel Maddow overlooked that point last night, as well, in an otherwise interesting segment that walks us through the importance of freedom of the press and the serious disregard of the Constitution and rules by the Obama Justice Department. Her guest was David Schulz, a media attorney for more than 30 years now representing the Associated Press.
Eric Holder, like Alberto Gonzalez and John Mitchell, lacks the integrity to hold the office of Attorney General. He should resign immediately.