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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Obama's DOJ Fought For Indefinite Secret Monitoring Of Reporter's Communications

By Susan Duclos

This week we found out that Attorney General Eric Holder personally signed off on the secret warrant for Fox News reporter James Rosen's personal emails, which was enough for calls from the left and the right for Holder's dismissal.

It gets worse.

Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker dug a little deeper and found that Obama's Department of Justice also fought. lost, then appealed, and finally convinced a judge to allow them indefinite monitoring of Rosen's communications without notifying Rosen of the search and seizure of his e-mails.

The new details are revealed in a court filing detailing a back and forth between the Justice Department and the federal judges who oversaw the request to search a Gmail account belonging to Rosen, a reporter for Fox News. A 2009 article Rosen had written about North Korea sparked an investigation; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department adviser who allegedly leaked classified information to Rosen, insisted that the reporter should not be notified of the search and seizure of his e-mails, even after a lengthy delay.

E-mails, Machen wrote, “are commonly used by subjects or targets of the criminal investigation at issue, and the e-mail evidence derived from those compelled disclosures frequently forms the core of the Government’s evidence supporting criminal charges.”

He argued that disclosure of the search warrant would preclude the government from monitoring the account, should such a step become necessary in the investigation. Machen added that “some investigations are continued for many years because, while the evidence is not yet sufficient to bring charges, it is sufficient to have identified criminal subjects and/or criminal activity serious enough to justify continuation of the investigation.”

Machen insisted the investigation would be compromised if Rosen was informed of the warrant, and also asked the court to order Google not to notify Rosen that the company had handed over Rosen’s e-mails to the government. Rosen, according to recent reports, did not learn that the government seized his e-mail records until it was reported in the Washington Post last week.

Allahpundit at Hot Air does a great job in reminding folks exactly who Ronald C. Machen, Jr. is:

“Machen,” by the way, is U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the guy who was charged with deciding whether to pursue the House’s contempt citation against his boss, Eric Holder, over Fast & Furious. Holder’s deputy, James Cole, wrote a letter to Machen — before he’d even received the citation — to let him know that the Department determined Holder had done nothing wrong and therefore shouldn’t be prosecuted. Machen also happens to be leading the FBI investigation into the leak that involved the DOJ subpoenaing AP reporters’ phone records. The man who authorized those subpoenas was, of course, James Cole, acting as AG after Holder recused himself. Machen’s a loyal soldier, in other words, with a track record of aggressively pursuing access to journalists’ private data to sniff out leaks.

A reminder of what Barack Obama said on Thursday- " Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th."

As The Daily Caller headlines "Obama asks Holder investigate Holder's investigation."

Remember it isn't just Rosen from Fox News, but the DOJ had also named 30 phones numbers in their warrant, main lines at Fox News as well as Rosen's parents. In a separate leak investigation they seized the Associated Press phone records, including five locations where 100 reporters worked.

This is not limited to one organization and what is chilling is this is just what has become public.

How many other reporters, news organizations, media outlets, etc, are being spied on by the Obama administration, right now?

Via The Washington Post editorial board:

What did the journalist do to become a potential criminal co-conspirator? According to the FBI agent, he “asked, solicited and encouraged” his source to disclose sensitive information. The reporter did this “by employing flattery” and playing to the “vanity and ego” of Mr. Kim. In other words, the journalist was doing what reporters do. Unfortunately, a judge signed off on this flimsy search warrant.

There must be a special prosecutor assigned, one completely independent, to investigate what Obama's DOJ has done and how far they have gone.

Anybody who laughed at the expression of "Big Brother Is Watching You," and waved it off as paranoia, shouldn't be laughing anymore.


Far Left, Far Right Finally Agree- AG Eric Holder Must Go