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'Journalism has been criminalized' Juan Williams declares

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fox News Channel contributor Juan Williams has thoroughly blasted the Department of Justice for "criminalizing journalism." With Fox's Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen being labeled as a possible co-conspirator in a government leak investigation, Williams declared "I think what you've got here is a situation where somehow, now, journalism has been criminalized, especially in this Rosen case."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Williams, speaking out on "Fox & Friends" earlier this week, said that "There's just no justification for somehow making it out that a reporter, who is trying to cultivate a source, by doing so is a co-conspirator in terms of a leaks investigation. I've never heard of that before. I've never seen that before. It's never been done before."

When the department investigated in the leaking of classified information in 2009 about North Korea, it not only obtained Rosen's phone records-- but his personal emails as well. According to the Washington Post's original report, the department used security badge records to track Rosen's visits to the State Department. The agency also traced the timing of his calls to Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser suspected of leaking information to Rosen.

In the court documents for the warrant to search Rosen's personal e-mails - the "SUBJECT ACCOUNT" and "the Reporter" --  the FBI is cited as stating "there is probable cause to believe the Reporter has committed or is committing a violation of section 793(d), as an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator, to which the materials relate."

Williams is very nonplussed y the story. "That kind of treatment of a reporter who's simply doing journalism - I want to emphasize that, that's the craft that we practice - makes it very difficult for journalists to do business.

"How do you do journalism if you're treated as a criminal for asking people for information?"

He also said that there has been a bi-partisan effort to contain government leaks and that the current administration has actively persecuted reporters.

"Nobody has prosecuted as many as President Obama but, believe me, even Obama has been criticized for too many leaks coming out in his administration," Williams said.

Does Williams feel intimidated by the recent news? Williams claims that he has been around for too long and gets "beat up from all sides," but that this case was different.

"This stands out in a bright way to me as what I call criminalizing journalism," Williams said. "I don't see how you can do this. In a sense, I think people are picking on journalists sometimes with political intent, and I don't like it. I think this is when you start to make it difficult to get information in a democracy to an informed citizenry."

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