A Short Trip Down Memory Lane

The mainstream media has its panties in a wad for two reasons today. They are totally upset about President Trump’s characterizing them as enemies of the people. They may not be enemies of the people, but they are definitely enemies of fair reporting. In response, many newspapers across the country have organized a coordinated attack on President Trump on their editorial pages today. How does that in any way help their case? It seems to me that their actions are a perfect illustration of the fact that they have lost their objectivity and traded it for political activism. That’s fine–just don’t claim to be impartial while you are being a political activist.

The second horrendous recent action the media has gone ballistic about is the revoking of the security clearance of John Brennan. Why would he still have a security clearance? I seriously doubt that anyone in the White House would be sincerely interested in his advice on foreign affairs.

I would like to share a bit of history about both of these crises of the day.

First of all, the press is convinced that President Trump has declared war on the press. Well, let’s take a minute to remember what war on the press looks like. On May 21, 2013, The Guardian (not one of my usual sources!) posted an article with the following headline, “James Rosen: Fox News reporter targeted as ‘co- conspirator’ in spying case.” The case had to do with a State Department leak.

The article reports:

The FBI sought and obtained a warrant to seize all of Rosen’s correspondence with Kim (State Department security adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim), and an additional two days’ worth of Rosen’s personal email, the Post reported. The bureau also obtained Rosen’s phone records and used security badge records to track his movements to and from the State Department.

…Rosen has not been charged with a crime in the case. Kim was indicted in August 2010 on charges of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, one of a batch of six cases in which the Obama administration began to use the first world war-era spying law to prosecute suspected government whistleblowers.

…Instead of relying on the threat of a contempt charge to get journalists to divulge their sources, the Obama administration has used warrantless wiretapping and dragnet records seizures to identify who is talking to whom.

Last week it emerged that the Department of Justice had seized phone records for more than 20 lines used by the Associated Press, in possible violation of regulations governing such seizures. There have been no reports of the government accusing journalists of criminal activity in that case.

That’s what a war on the press looks like.

Now to John Brennan. On March 21, 2018, The American Thinker posted an article with the following headline, “John Brennan: Deep State Political Hack.”

The article includes the following:

Brennan was asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether the CIA had illegally accessed Senate Intelligence Committee staff computers “to thwart an investigation by the committee into” the agency’s past interrogation techniques.  The accusation had been made earlier that day by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said the CIA had “violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.” Brennan answered:

As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth.  I mean, we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s – that’s just beyond the – you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do. …

And, you know, when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.

…CIA Director John O. Brennan has apologized to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee after an agency investigation determined that its employees improperly searched computers used by committee staff to review classified files on interrogations of prisoners. …

A statement released by the CIA on Tuesday acknowledged that agency employees had searched areas of that computer network that were supposed to be accessible only to committee investigators.  Agency employees were attempting to discover how congressional aides had obtained a secret CIA internal report on the interrogation program.

John Brennan should have been fired by the Obama Administration for spying on Congress, but since he was an ally of the deep state, he was not.

Now you know the rest of the story!

What Is The Difference Between A Leaker And A Source?

Yesterday The New York Times reported the following:

…James A. Wolfe, 57,  (a former Senate Intelligence Committee Aide) was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.

The article states:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

…Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

However, we are dealing with The New York Times, which is not above using very selective memory in spinning a story.

The article states:

Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

Poor Ms. Watkins. Let’s go back to the case of James Rosen.

The following was reported by Fox News on May 23, 2013:

Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.

The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.

Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.

Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.

A journalists right to report needs to be protected, but the leaks out of the Senate Intelligence Committee are ridiculous. There have been instances of matters not taken up by the Committee because the members knew that anything said would be leaked. I am not sure where we need to draw the line on investigating leakers, but it seems as if both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have used questionable methods to try to stop leaks.

Changing History As It Occurs

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the recent editing of a State Department press briefing on December 2, 2013. A question asked by Fox News reporter James Rosen was edited out of the archived video of the briefing.

The article reports:

The deleted segment of the briefing featured Fox News reporter James Rosen asking then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether the Obama administration had lied about having secret talks with Iran in 2011. Psaki essentially admitted that it had.

Rosen inquired, “Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?” Psaki responded, “James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”

The start date of the Iran nuclear negotiations is back in the spotlight because of a New York Times Magazine piece in which Ben Rhodes admitted that the Obama administration “largely manufactured” a narrative for the Iran deal in order to garner support for it. A key element of the manufactured narrative was that negotiations began in 2013 with the election of a “moderate” Iranian president.

It looks like the State Department tried, by editing the video, to cover up the administration’s lie about when Iran negotiations commenced (together with the admission that it is willing to lie), and then lied again by claiming that the cover up was the product of a glitch.

Remember, this video is supposed to be an accurate archived record of American history. The State Department chose to edit it to rewrite a portion of history. I thought only Communist countries did that.

The article explains the consequences for the editing of the video:

Who requested the scrubbing? The State Department claims not to know. It says that officials “tried” to determine who ordered the edit, “but it was three years ago and the individual who took the call [to edit the tape] just simply doesn’t have a better memory of it.”

Jen Psaki, who made the admission that needed to be deleted, is an obvious suspect. She denies responsibility.

Will the State Department launch an investigation? No it will not. Current spokesperson John Kirby says:

There were no rules governing this sort of action in the past, so I find no reason to press forward with a more formal or deeper investigation. What matters to me — and I take it seriously — is our commitment to transparency and disclosure.

The Obama State Department just can’t stop lying.

I have been known to complain about the mainstream media slanting the news or lying to Americans. Now we have evidence that the government is lying to us. It’s time for a new government.

There’s Leaking And Then There’s Leaking

Recently Fox News reporter James Rosen had his privacy seriously invaded by the Obama Administration because he leaked some information on North Korea (see rightwinggranny.com). Well, evidently the Obama Administration takes some leaks more seriously than others.

Yesterday McClatchy News reported that the Obama Administration has revealed plans for a secret Israeli military base.

The article reports:

The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a state-of-the-art facility to house a new ballistic-missile defense system, the Arrow 3. As with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made public so that contractors could bid on the $25 million project. The specifications included more than 1,000 pages of details on the facility, ranging from the heating and cooling systems to the thickness of the walls.

“If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the entire facility,” said an Israeli military official who commented on the publication of the proposal but declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the facility. He declined to say whether plans for the facility have been altered as a result of the disclosure.

“This is more than worrying, it is shocking,” he said.

I understand the need for basic information during the bidding process, but this is ridiculous. The Obama Administration previously leaked information about the Stuxnet Virus that slowed down Iran’s nuclear program (see rightwinggranny.com). That information was also considered classified by Israel.

There seems to be a double standard in the Obama Administration on leaking classified information.

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Another Story About Telling The Truth

I really think that the people in our government have an obligation to be honest with the American public except when national security issues are truly at stake. That may be a minority opinion, but it is my opinion. Right now there are a number of scandals floating around the Obama Administration, and the problem with most of them is that the government overreached and then tried to hide what it did.

One of those scandals is the snooping against Fox News reporter James Rosen. The snooping was outrageous–even to the point of going after the phone records of Mr. Rosen’s parents. Well, the plot thickens…

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported today that evidence shows that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress.

The article reports:

Last week, under relatively friendly questioning from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about the Department of Justice seizure of Associated Press phone records, Johnson asked about the potential to prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917.  ”You’ve got a long way to go to try to prosecute the press for publication of material,” Holder responded.

Later, though, he returned to the topic unbidden, emphasis mine (at the 5-minute mark):

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material. This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

The article explains the problem:

As it turns out, Holder not only heard of it, he personally approved it.  The warrant in the Rosen case specified that he was considered a potential suspect in the leak of classified material, the reason that the DoJ didn’t bother to follow the existing Watergate-era statute in coordinating the records request with Fox News.  And note that Holder’s testimony in this case wasn’t produced by some sophisticated perjury trap sprung by a Republican, but as a freely-offered representation to no particular question during the question period of a Democrat.

This contradiction raises some rather serious questions. First of all, was Attorney General Holder lying when he said he was not part of the snooping on James Rosen?

A website called The Right Sphere explains the second problem:

The problem for Holder is that we now know he personally signed off on the order to get a subpoena for Fox News’ James Rosen’s phone records. The entire basis of the warrant for those records relies on Rosen being a potential conspirator and therefore potentially prosecuted.

According to the DoJ’s subpoena, Google surrendered Rosen’s emails, who is described as “an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator,” to the government.

I’m sure Holder and his allies will say that they never intended to prosecute Rosen, but that’s 1) not the point and 2) even worse. If that’s their defense, they knowingly lied to the judge who would, hopefully, reject the request if they admitted it was just a fishing expedition for information.

They’re stuck. Either he (by signing the request for the records) lied to the judge or Holder lied directly to Congress.

It will be interesting to see how Congress reacts when they realize they have been lied to.

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The Consequences Of Reporting The News–Not The Spin

Breitbart.com is reporting today that the Obama Administration took actions to intimidate the press long before they got to the Associated Press.

The article reports:

Rosen (James Rosen of Fox News) wrote on his blog that U.S. intelligence officials felt that North Korea would respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests. That information was apparently given him by Kim (Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department arms expert).

Even though it has not been proven to this day that it’s illegal for a reporter to solicit information, because of the First Amendment’s protection of the press, the Obama Administration went to work. The Justice Department not only grabbed Rosen’s telephone records, they used security badge access records to track the Rosen’s visits to the State Department, traced the timing of his calls with Kim, and obtained a search warrant for Rosen’s e-mails.

First of all, James Rosen is a good reporter–he has been doing this for a while. The statement that North Korea would respond to sanctions with more nuclear tests was not earthshaking. Second of all, the Justice Department’s investigation is clearly overreach.

The article concludes:

First Amendment lawyer Charles Tobin said, “Search warrants like these have a severe chilling effect on the free flow of important information to the public. That’s a very dangerous road to go down.” Attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim, asserted,  “The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique. Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.”

FBI agent Reginald Reyes wrote in an affidavit that Rosen had broken the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” But that statement may well conflict with First Amendment rights.

I understand that most of the mainstream media is philosophically aligned with President Obama, but keeping that is mind, there are two aspects of this story that I find interesting. First of all, do members of the press care when one of their own is subject to extreme scrutiny by the Justice Department? Second, is it easier to go along with the Obama Administration’s taking points than to take a chance on being investigated for reporting the truth?

The story of the investigation of James Rosen along with the excessive investigation of Associated Press reporters should give all Americans reason to question everything they read from the mainstream media. We are reaching a point where reporters will be afraid to report the truth for fear of retribution.

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