From one of our best investigative journalists, here’s Steve Coll, today in The New Yorker:
It seems likely that Holder or his deputies have authorized other press subpoenas and surveillance regimes that have not yet been disclosed. The Justice Department has acted belligerently even in cases where no grave harm to the public interest has been demonstrated, or where, as in the A.P. case, the leaks under suspicion have served to publicize the Administration’s successes. . .
He allows that the increase in investigations by Justice in recent years may relate to this:
Obama inherited a bloated national-security state. It contains far too many official secrets and far too many secret-keepers—more than a million people now hold top-secret clearances. Under a thirty-year-old executive order issued by the White House, the intelligence agencies must inform the Justice Department whenever they believe that classified information has been disclosed illegally to the press. These referrals operate on a kind of automatic pilot, and the system is unbalanced.
But ultimately, Coll says:
. . . The media are not just watchdogs barking at the White House and the C.I.A. The First Amendment aspires to a fuller compact among citizens, including between journalists and confidential sources, that is premised on the self-evident truth that secrecy and concentrated power are inherently corrupting.
Posted in big brother, Civics, Constitution, Government, Media, Politics
Tagged Eric Holder, first amendment, free press, Justice Department, Media, national security leaks, Steve Coll
It’s the right response to the AP/Fox abuses.
I never liked him anyway. He heads a Justice Department that didn’t bring a single fraudster bankster to trial.
Don’t slam the door on your way out fella’.
UPDATE: Lois Lerner too.
Kunstler, once again saying what no one but Jon Stewart says in public:
It was heartening at least to see a few signs of life “out there” in the karmic interstices. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan sent a memo to the Attorney General of the US – viz: something has been going on in Wall Street that merits your attention. As in most seemingly crucial turnings lately, echo answered. Can someone please check to see if Eric Holder over in the Department of Justice is leaking sawdust? He must be stuffed something. Styrofoam would just make him look lumpy. Could he be a computer graphic? Or is he just a simple slab of cardboard with a photo glued on. Perhaps Senator Levin’s next memo might be in the form of a subpoena to Mr. Holder, requesting his testimony as to how many trillions of dollars were snookered, swindled, and Ponzied out of the US public for the benefit of about a thousand guys in and around lower Manhattan (with branch offices in suburban Connecticut and New Jersey).
We’re finally crackin’ down on those Wall Street miscreants! Yippeeee! The AG had a press conference yesterday and he said they at the Justice Department were all kinds of proud of ‘Operation Broken Promise’ and have “brought cases against 343 criminal defendants and 189 civil defendants”
Way to go Justice Department, right?
Today, New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin says “I actually called some chief executives after Mr. Holder’s news conference, and not one had heard of Operation Broken Trust.
“That’s because in the two years since the peak” of the financial crisis, the government has not brought one criminal case against a big-time corporate official of any sort.
“Instead, inexplicably, prosecutors are busy chasing small-timers: penny-stock frauds, a husband-and-wife team charged in an insider trading case and mini-Ponzi schemes.”
Yeah, that’ll do it.
I’ve admired Atty General Eric Holder up to this point. Low profile, doing his job, making some very good calls.
But this, reported today in The Washington Post and elsewhere, is just wrong on so many levels:
“Let’s deal with the reality here,” Holder said in response to questions from Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.). “The reality is, we will be reading Miranda rights to a corpse.”
That was part of his response in a House hearing about military re civilian courts for terrorists. What he said my be our goal, may be our plan, may be a lot of things. But what it is not, is appropriate language from an attorney general.