(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
~Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge John Tyler (June 28, 1804)~
The perpetrator of a crime cannot investigate himself. Yet that is what Pres. Barack Obama has proposed over growing concerns about press freedom following the Justice Department’s secret seizure of AP records and its accusation that Fox News reporter James Rosen could be part of a criminal conspiracy for soliciting information from a source. The president said that he would have Attorney General Eric Holder review the Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve journalists. Although Holder did not sign the subpoena for the phone records of the Associated Press, Holder had to recuse himself from the investigation because he was in possession of the leaked information. Now, it has been revealed that Holder, himself, who signed the off on the warrant that allowed the Justice Department to search Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email.
The report places Holder at the center of one of the most controversial clashes between the press and the government in recent memory. The warrant he approved named Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation, causing many to warn that the Justice Department was potentially criminalizing journalism. The warrant also approved the tracking of Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, as well as his communications with his source, Stephen Kim. [..]
The Attorney General is usually required to approve requests to search journalists’ materials, but that rule does not extend to email records.
Now Pres. Obama says that it will be Holder who reviews the guidelines. This is the man who also said he doesn’t know how many times he had authorized the search of journalists’ records.
In an interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, Matthew Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, has called for Eric Holder’s resignation over spying on journalists and Occupy Wall Street protestors.
As much as many criticize Fox News and the Associated Press for their penchant for a right wing biased reporting, they are the press. The First Amendment applies to them, as well as, to the other news organizations and their reporters. In this we stand together.