Today the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department illegally obtained two months of phone records from Associated Press reporters and editors across the various agency offices. From the AP story:
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.
During the implementation of the Patriot Act the opponents justified their disapproval for this sweeping government power by citing the future potential of abuse in federal agencies having the ability to obtain information that should remain private; information that the government could still obtain through the proper channels (i.e. warrants, subpoenas, etc.). Since the Patriot Act has been in full swing there has been remarkably little abuse of this power. Or maybe I am just the optimist. I had expected intrusions on a regular basis, especially with news groups attempting to protect confidential sources.
Naturally, the administration that thinks government has the power to take over whole industries would have no problem over-stepping the legal boundaries surrounding the first amendment and the protection it offers everyone. The only part that surprises me is that no matter how friendly you are to this administration they always regard you as a potential enemy. Think of how cooperative the AP has been with this administration. Yet they still regard them as an adversary. Can you imagine having to live like that? You even have to be ready to take down your friends.
AP Letter to Eric Holder
While everyone will write their own report on this story and add in their own two cents (like I did above), most wont publish the letter form the AP to Holder. They would rather just drive traffic to their site and give you the opinion they think you should have. Clicking the image will take you to the full letter via our DocStoc account. Comments are always welcome. (PDF direct download)