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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/14/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Yet another troubling development from the Obama administration.

If you catch the Obama administration in a lie, you'd best keep quiet. That's the message being sent to the Associated Press by Obama's enforcers. Using sweeping authority of questionable integrity, the administration has seized phone records and other information from the Associated Press.

Don't speak ill about Obama unless you want to be harassed.

Don't speak ill about Obama unless you want to be harassed.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/14/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, AP, journalism, freedom of speech, press, investigation, subpoena, phones


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A year ago, the Obama administration told the American people they had "no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the (May 2) anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death."

This was a blatant lie because the administration had plenty of evidence, and they used it to foil a plot to destroy a U.S. bound airliner over the Atlantic on the anniversary of Osama's death.

This was supposed to be kept quiet, but when the AP broke the news about the success, leaked to it by a government insider, the Obama administration was furious.

Now, a year later, Obama is taking revenge, seizing phone records related to more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the AP and its staff. According to the AP, more than 100 journalists are thought to be caught in Obama's dragnet as he angrily seeks the source of the leak within his administration.

Obama is the most aggressive and chilling president when it comes to prosecuting journalists who participate in government whistleblowing. To date, he has prosecuted six people who he claims have provided classified information to journalists. This is more than the number prosecuted under all previous presidents combined.

The problem in this case isn't so much Obama's attempt to find the leak in his administration as the overbroad and aggressive method in rooting it out. Normally, subpoenas are narrowly crafted and the government works with organizations to obtain the specific records required to conduct their investigation. In this case however, Obama scooped up a broad swath of records and he did so without notice.

The action was so swift and broad that it remains unknown if a judge or grand jury ever signed off on the subpoena.

This use of power by Obama is designed to do two things. The first is to cast a wide net to catch leaks from within his administration. The second is to have a chilling effect on journalism.

Journalists have a duty to report credible information given to them by sources, which are protected with confidentiality. This policy protects government whistleblowers who may expose abuses of power, corruption, and other scandals that the American public has a right to know.

Journalists and editors normally exercise discretion and restraint when handling information they know may be classified. Not everything is reported if it poses a significant threat to national security.

However, sometimes the government uses the excuse of national security to justify its crimes and its lies, as it did before the American people in May of 2012.

When the AP exposed that lie, Obama lashed out.

Fortunately, the truth is emerging and Obama is doing much to expose it by lashing out at the press.

Already Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has signaled his disapproval at Obama's strong-arm tactic. "They had an obligation to look for every other way to get it before they intruded on the freedom of the press," he told CNN.

It's possible Rep. Issa may investigate this abuse of Obama's power, but only after he finishes investigating Obama's behavior on the Benghazi incident and his use of the IRS to stifle and chill opposition.

A pattern is emerging about Obama, and it isn't very pretty.

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