Society of Professional Journalists
considering new protest over DOJ probe
The AP breaks the story about itself.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION has pursued leakers of sensitive government information more aggressively than any administration in U.S. history.
In just five years it has prosecuted more officials than all other administrations combined.
Now comes the shocking news that it has targeted the country’s largest newsgathering organization.
The Associated Press, the biggest network of newsgathering individuals and contributing media organizations in the country, disclosed Monday that it had been targeted by the U.S. Justice Department.
In an exclusive telephone interview conducted at 6:50 a.m. PDT today, the president of America’ leading journalism organization, the Society of Professional Journalists, Sonny Albarado, said he was currently talking with the organization’s attorneys with a view to drafting a letter addressed to the administration.
“We are talking about taking additional action regarding this matter,” he said when called at his personal telephone number.
Among the possibilities is a letter from the organization to the Attorney General protesting the government’s abuse of its authority.
In a statement released by SPJ on Monday Albarado had called the government’s actions “shameful.”
Details of this unprecedented intrusion into the freedom of the press were published Monday by the Associated Press itself.
In a story written by Mark Sherman we learn that the Justice Department secretly obtained months of telephone records of reporters and editors at the AP; such actions require approval at the highest levels of the department.
There is no way Attorney General Eric Holder did not sign off personally on this operation. And we all thought John Ashcroft was the worst attorney general ever!
The normally voluble White House Briefing Room is silent this morning over the statement reportedly released by the press secretary on Monday. Click image to visit the site.
MEANWHILE, the venerable Washington publication Roll Call reports on the White House’s non-denial denial issued on Monday.
In a story by Justin Sink we learn, among other things, that Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement on Monday.
Sink wrote: “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.”
However if you go to the White House website where all press statements are published, this particular one is not there!
There are plenty of statements about trivia – the top item at this time is about presidential nominations sent to the Senate – but about this brutal attack on the First Amendment, nothing!
Can anyone smell a cover-up?
SPJ President Albarado, in the Monday statement, placed the blame squarely where it belongs.
“Attorney General Holder and President Obama have once again shown by their actions that their words about transparency and government openness are hollow,” said Albarado, city editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock.
We could not have put it better ourselves.
First posted at 7:42 a.m. PDT. Cleaned up a little since then