Obama’s War on Fox News Reporters

Rosen-DOJIn a stunning sequences of events that unfolded yesterday, it was revealed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) efforts to intimidate the media went beyond targeting reporters and editors at the Associated Press. Early in the day, the Washington Post reported that the DOJ not only seized the phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, but used his security badge to access records tracking his movements at the State Department, traced the timing of his calls with a Department security advisor suspected of giving him classified information, and obtained a search warrant to access his personal emails. Later in the afternoon another bombshell was dropped: two more Fox staffers, reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine, were also targeted by the DOJ.

We begin with Rosen and his involvement with State Department advisor Steven Kim. Kim is a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for telling Rosen that the intelligence community believed North Korea’s response to additional UN sanctions would be another test of its nuclear capabilities. Rosen published a story to that effect on June 11, 2009, noting that the CIA had received the information form sources inside North Korea.

That story was posted the same day a top-secret report was made available to Kim, arms expert with security clearance, and 95 other members of the intelligence community. Using the surveillance techniques described above, the FBI built a case that the information Rosen received came directly from those documents. Yet Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to top-secret information, steal or sell documents or secrets, or collaborate with the enemy. He gave exclusive information to a reporter, a reality that occurs every day. Furthermore, according to the New York Times, four months prior to disseminating the information for which he was indicted, Kim was asked by a State Department press officer to speak to Rosen about North Korea, “and the two began to talk and exchange e-mails,” the paper reported.

Despite this reality, Kim is facing 15 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act.

The Washington Post explains that in building the case against Kim, the DOJ resorted to the aforementioned tactics to build their case. Thus, despite having substantial amounts of evidence gleaned from Kim’s computer and phone records, Justice insisted they needed access to two days’ worth of Rosen’s personal emails, and all of his email exchanges with Kim. Those records necessitated a subpoena.

In an affidavit obtained by the Post, FBI agent Reginald Reyes revealed the DOJ’s rationale for seeking it. “From the beginning of their relationship, the Reporter asked, solicited and encouraged Mr. Kim to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information about the Foreign Country” he wrote. “The Reporter did so by employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim’s vanity and ego.”

More importantly, Reyes further declared there was evidence that Rosen had broken the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” A federal judge signed off on the search warrant.

The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald explains the implications of targeting Rosen. “Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information,” he explains. “That fact, along with the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ–that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for ‘soliciting’ the disclosure of classified information–is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself.”

Fox News’ Brit Hume echoed that assessment. “The Obama-Holder Justice Department is now prepared to treat the ordinary newsgathering actives of reporters to seek information from government officials as a possible crime,” he warned.

As in the AP case, the DOJ again insisted it followed guidelines that require them to obtain information by other means prior to subpoenaing reporters’ phone records. According to the office of Ronald Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District, the government “exhausted all reasonable non-media alternatives for collecting this evidence before seeking court approval for a search warrant.”

According to the Huffington Post, “non-media alternatives” is the key phrase obscuring an inconvenient truth. “The DOJ didn’t contact the AP before secretly obtaining two months of journalists’ phone records, nor did it contact Fox News before getting Rosen’s records, a break with the way the government traditionally deals with media outlets,” it reported.

The U.S. attorney’s statement contained more hair-splitting. “Based on the investigation and all of the facts known to date, no other individuals, including the reporter, have been charged since Mr. Kim was indicted nearly three years ago,” said a released statement.

The key word here is “charged.” Yesterday afternoon, one Fox staffer under DOJ scrutiny became three. In an incredible revelation, the emails of two additional Fox staffers, reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine, appeared in an Inspector General’s (IG) report–on the Fast and Furious gun running scandal!

It remains unclear whether those emails were leaked by DOJ employees to whom they were sent, or the DOJ once again issued secret subpoenas to obtain them. “What we don’t know at this point is if the sources within the Justice Department may have shared those emails with investigators, or if the Fox employees’ accounts were directly accessed by investigators,” Fox News correspondent Shannon Bream reported. “It’s simply a question we cannot answer at this point.”

We do know that La Jeunesse broke numerous stories outlining the details of Fast and Furious, and Levine was also involved in reporting on the scandal. Yet according to Bream, none of the three men targeted were ever contacted by the administration.

Adding insult to injury, the IG’s Fast and Furious report reveals even more abuse by the DOJ: it confirms that U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke intentionally leaked a document aimed at smearing Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson. Furthermore, additional emails uncovered by the IG reveal other DOJ officials also discussed smearing Dodson, one of whom was Tracy Schmaler, the former Director of the Department’s Office of Public Affairs. She was forced to resign after it was discovered she was colluding with the radical leftist advocacy group Media Matters to smear those attempting to cover DOJ scandals.

Fox News’ executive vice president of news, Michael Clemente, made it clear the network would not be intimidated by the DOJ. “We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter,” Clemente said statement. “In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”

Last Wednesday, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Holder denied any knowledge of the AP investigation, claiming he recused himself. “I was not the person involved in that decision,” he insisted. “I was recused in that matter as I described in a press conference held yesterday. The decision to issue this subpoena was made by the people presently involved in the case.”

It remains to be seen if Holder is also going to claim ignorance regarding Rosen, La Jeunesse and Levine.

Last Tuesday might have provided a clue. Holder told NPR he isn’t sure how many times the DOJ has seized similar information during his tenure. “I’m not sure how many of those cases … I have actually signed off on,” Holder said. “I take them very seriously. I know that I have refused to sign a few, pushed a few back for modifications.”

Holder also declined to say whether the the Justice Department’s policy on searches of reporters’ records will be reviewed.

As for the president, last Thursday Obama defended the DOJ’s seizure of AP phone records–even as he failed to mention his administration has pursued more government officials for leaks than all previous administrations combined. “And so I make no apologies,” he said about going after “information that might compromise” the missions of U.S. personnel “or get themselves killed.”

Again, it remains to be seen if the president will also defend the efforts undertaken by the DOJ with regard to the staffers at Fox News.

Despite the attempts by the American left to equate this administration’s appalling behavior with Bush administration supporters calling for prosecution of reporters at the New York Times and other new organizations that exposed top-secret information regarding the eavesdropping on potential terrorist phone conversations, or terrorist financing schemes, no journalists were even accused, much less prosecuted, for revealing top-secret information.

Last week, in an interview with Democracy Now, James Goodale, former general council for the New York Times, revealed the likely motive for the administration’s determination to criminalize reporting of classified information. “Obama has classified, I think, seven million–in one year, classified seven million documents,” he explained. “Everything is classified. So that would give the government the ability to control all its information on the theory that it’s classified. And if anybody asks for it and gets it, they’re complicit, and they’re going to go to jail. So that criminalizes the process, and it means that the dissemination of information, which is inevitable, out of the classified sources of that information will be stopped.”

That reality raises an extremely important question: who’s going to stop the Obama administration?

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    When a regime goes wild it crosses ALL boundaries. And as soon as I heard that AP (their lapdogs) were targeted, immediately I thought, oh, what they must have done to FOX! And when leftist revolutionaries are desperate to cover up all manner of crimes, well, then the lines become precisely like third world dictatorships.

    So it is more than efficacious that the truth is pouring out, but surely no one should be shocked, shocked – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/15/regime-gone-w

    The DOJ is Obama Inc's ultimate weapon and Holder is MORE than a willing accomplice. Off to jail they (and others) gotta go!

    Adina kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • margaret388

      Oooooh!!! how very right you are Adina. When Mr. Obama first took office and the press immediately was at his feet, I wrote in this same space for comments they (the lap dog press)just have to wait a few years and then some of them will start hating the regime. So, here it is. Of course the regime starts with AP to conceal and disguise their plans……but you just wait and we will see that all journalists that do not bow their heads in front of the tyrant they will be shattered.
      I lived through all of this in my country of origin (Cuba) which included the firing squads. It was very very sad. We should be afraid……very afraid.

  • Looking4Sanity

    "That reality raises an extremely important question: who’s going to stop the Obama administration?"

    Indeed. That is the question that preoccupies the mind of every patriot in this country. Is there anyone in this country with a set of stones? I guess we'll all find out together, won't we?

    • Asher

      Our thoughts exactly…If they are allowed to lie, intimidate, and destroy, they will continue to do so…Who in Washington will hold them accountable? Is there anyone with the Will or the loyalty to America?

  • Kafantaris

    "Employing flattery and playing to [an official's] vanity and ego

  • truebearing

    Obama is evil and has a totalitarian agenda, but none of this should surprise anyone. The question is what do we do about a renegade and traitor in the Whitehouse? Tax strike? Counter revolution? Riot? Lay down and take it? Whine on the internet?

    One thing is clear: the longer a dictator is allowed to consolidate power, the more difficult it is to defeat him. Even if an impeachment is destined to fail because the senate is controlled by the Left, it may be the best option because of the intense focus it will bring to Obama's (and Holder's) criminal behavior. Maybe then America will wake up….or maybe it will dissolve into civil war, but the trajectory we are on now probably includes a civil war anyway, and certainly means we will be reduced to third world status and ruled by a Muslim dictator. Our options are few and time is running out. Bold action is essential. The absolute minimum that should be done is appointing special prosecutors for Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and the attack on the free press.

  • pierce

    Obama and the DOJ think they can walk on water. I am sorry to inform them that they can't.
    There is only one media outlet that has not given any President a clear path to doing what ever he did, or does, that is Fox News. That is why they are fair, and balanced, and that is why I do not watch CNN, ABC, CBS, or NBC. In particulars George Stephenapolis is about as objective as nothing, reflecting his years with slick Willy, and Brian Williams, with no political affiliation, as substantive as is Joe Biden. So I don't put much stock in what they say, or represent.
    I will continue to watch Fox New as they are fair, and balanced, and included both sides of a diatribe.

  • Fred

    I do not watch Fox as they are afraid (or have been threatened) not to touch Barry and his fake Birth Certificate, using another persons SSA # and so so much more. Why do you think he sealed all of his records. The Arabs put this guy in power.

    When someone calls a talk show and wants to touch any of the above topics they will not be put on the air.

    • Jerry G

      I'm with you. I seldom watch Fox for the reason you cite. Even though they might be tough on Obama's policies they have been in bed with personally. Those spineless cowards on Fox who won't go near the issue of Obama's eligibility (for fear of losing their jobs) don't deserve any sympathy. Obama's tactics are classic despotic. First you go after your enemies and then you go after your supporters to consolidate your power.

    • LEE

      Well then, find a way to get Barry's personal records into public light. FOX news is the only source of info that is fair, balanced and at least brings to light what Barry and his henchmen are doing. Without them we would have been in the dark until the DOJ went after AP news. Now maybe we'll see some action.

      No doubt this administration is the MOST dangerous administration we have ever witnessed. With czars and all their ilk they are trying to transform us into an Islamic state. I'm surprised the real liberals have not seen this. If Barry ever succeeds those same liberals will be the first to go (ala Hitler, Lenin and Stalin.

      Even worse than the peanut farmer. At least Clinton worked with both sides and got a balanced budget, even while using Monica as a waste disposal.

      • Maxie

        "At least Clinton worked with both sides . . . '
        Hardly. He capitulated on welfare reform because it was sinking his presidency and the Dems with it. That was one aspect of Dick Morris's strategy of "triangulation".

  • Asher

    They are trying to destroy the 1st amendment and Freedom of the Press. Judge Andrew Napolitano said it was Chilling and Dangerous. This is communism when they destroy the abililties a free press to inform the people! Just like what HItler did!

  • RogerDane

    At issue for those who have the intellectual integrity to look at this Administration's efforts over the past 5+ years is not "who will stop them", or "when will they be stopped" … but "how?" History shows us that nations who stumble and fall towards socialism or, in this case, near fascism don't recovery peacefully. No "one" aspect of the hideous nature of Obama and his racial left 'jihad' against America and her electorate is to be feared more than another because it is a synchronized movement! They have hit our industry and employment, our foundations Constitutional rights and due process and all aspects of the 'balance of power' that our three part government was supposed to promise. They are not just attacking the wheels of our wagon but the very underpinnings of its structure. "How" will this be stopped? Frankly, given the extreme apathy of an under educated nation diluted by third world parasites, I don't think it will be and we can look forward to being a banana republic with a festooned idiot has a dictator.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    Maybe Fox will finally begin to cover the on going criminal investigation of Barry Soetoro and expose this Fraud and Chief. Up to this point they have shamelessly avoided and forbidden any of their journalist and contributors to cover the scandal of the century. Fox is no longer Fox and Friends they are part of a cover up that is bigger than anything this country has ever experienced. Fox and Enemies!! Go gettem Obama, they are no better than the rest of the MSM. Oh, Frontpage is right there with them, they also have failed to discuss the fraud and crimes.

    • Rob

      Dementia. This website is for grownups, so please leave.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      @Rob, your the baby in the room. You and folks like you will soon have mud all over your faces and there will be a "chill running up my leg" watching you and those conservatives running around their little news rooms and blogs attempting to make excuses for their incompetence. There is plenty of that going around. How the hell does someone ignore a two year on going criminal investigation of the POTUS. Insane is a better term for this incompetence.

  • Red47

    FOX reporters have a network of friends in the reporting world. They are not automatically ostracized by the people they have worked beside for years. Put yourself in the place of any political reporter except the most rabid. You want to sell a story, be noticed, to move up the ladder, get a scoop and maybe win awards. You see what is happening. People say that it is only FOX, but you know better. It is anyone who crosses the regime.
    For some reason, no one was bothered when they started this by tossing press off the campaign plane, calling FOX News not news (which is actually VERY Communistic behavior–can't even whitewash that), not inviting FOX to all the news briefs, all the way to causing a media member mutiny when they tried to cut FOX out of the White House press pool. FOX is not a perfect news organization, but they are a news organization with coverage comparable, and often more accurate or complete than CNN and the three networks.
    Preezy and his apparatchiks have done a fantastic job of making an entire portion of the nation believe that FOX News is some kind of cartoonish organization. They lean Right, but my no means do they compare as the Right version of some of the Leftist ideologues that pass for mainstream.
    What we have now is FOX and AP being harassed by the Federal Government whom many of the reporters have silently soldiered for these last six years.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      I am sick of Fox!! They have ignored the one and only SCANDAL that fall right in the lap of this Fraud and Chief. There is no need for a chain of emails leading to this criminal, no need for wire and phone taps, no need for whistleblowers. The evidence is overwhelming, it has already been processed just waiting for some brave patriot journalist to run with it or a legitimate news organization to run with it or a Congressperson with balls or a vagina that will run with it. These folks like praising our soldier for dodgine bullets for the country they love and not one of these pukes will cover a story that will end this damn nightmare. Shame on them.

  • http://twitter.com/stanthedog @stanthedog

    Let me understand. Mr. Kim is in trouble because a reporter looking for a story was nice to him? Ever heard of Elanor Roosevelt's lesbian affair with a reporter? True – check it out. The point is that be careful of the behavior you condemn…..it could be identical to your own now or in the future.

    Woe be to you hypocrites.

    • fiddler

      Whatever.

  • NAHALKIDES

    As much as I detest Obama, we need to be careful here. The disclosure of classified information by anyone, including a member of the media, is a crime (at least until the courts rule the Espionage Act to be unconstitutional, and there has never been a court test up to now). Freedom of the press does not mean the press can expose this country's secrets without fear of punishment. Kim's disclosure to Rosen seems relatively mild, but may have been illegal.

    What is more troubling is Obama/Holder's selective targeting here: there have been many leaks from this administration (one of which is mentioned in this story), yet only those which are most damaging to the administration's narrative are singled out for punishment. The targeting of Fox is certainly troubling, although we need to remember that the AP has generally been nothing less than fawning when it comes to Obama, so its targeting would appear to be more innocent.

  • Choi

    R-O-S-E-N and L-E-V-I-N-E.
    HHHMMMM

    Their SHARED BACKGROUND is just "coincidental"-NOT!

    • Maxie

      D-A-N-I-E–L E-L-L-S-B-E-R-G
      The N-Y-T
      HHHMMMM

      • Choi

        Hey 'Maxie',
        There is NO parrellel and YOU KNOW IT!

    • howzeyez

      what r u saying' choi?….

      • Choi

        You KNOW DMED WELL WHAT I'm saying!

  • Rifleman

    Remember what the msm said about Abu Ghraib and the Haditha massacre hoax? They said “the Bush administration set the tone,” that enabled and encouraged such ‘abuses’ and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld were as responsible as if they were there doing it themselves.

    Now all we hear about is what a big job President is, and how Obama couldn’t possibly know everything going on in the Executive Branch, or apparently make honest, competent appointments to manage the departments for which he is theoretically responsible (and would be in reality if he had an (R) after his name).

    They also aren’t mentioning the glaringly obvious; that if obama wasn’t so busy golfing, vacationing in exotic leisure destinations, and permanent campaigning, he might have some clue what’s going on at work, in his branch of government. We won’t see the “asleep at the helm’ cartoons we saw during Reagan’s second term. And that’s assuming, against mounting evidence to the contrary, that he really didn’t know what was going on.

    • margaret388

      Don't you see that this is exactly what our president is supposed to be doing.? He is to be exactly this kind of president!. There is a huge plan that has been cooked for many many years and suddenly Barack Hussein shows up……..and think: if you were planning a complete fundamental change of this country don't you find him the ideal person to implement the regime.? He is right for the job and later, after the path to world order communism is constructed….who will show up in her sweet colors of shirts and sweaters tied at her neck, her sweet smile, etc.?…Hillary, of course…and then:…. be afraid…..more than afraid :be terrified.

    • Jim_C

      These are fair points.

      But given that the federal government keeps growing, and given that executive powers keep accruing, if we're being intellectually honest, we say that when we think it's our guy driving, we tend to give that driver the benefit of the doubt. But when it's the other guy driving, we tend to assume the worst tyrannical behavior.

      Is the question maybe rather "Is this bus on autopilot?" Have we allowed too much power in exchange for the illusion of security?

  • Mach1Duck

    That reality raises an extremely important question: who’s going to stop the Obama administration?

    Congress and the Senate if they want to get re-elected!

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris_Shugart

    It was Stalin's chief of the secret police Lavrentiy Beria who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” Totalitarian police states are notorious for criminalizing the activities if their citizens as a way to make their autocratic rule appear legitimate. But perhaps the real crime is tolerating such tyranny.

  • pyeatte

    The administration is afraid of only Fox News. What does that say about tall the rest? whipped?

    • Jim_C

      Then why did they go after the AP?

      • pyeatte

        The AP learned that the Administration was going to release the information (story) the next day just to get the credit. So the AP beat them to it by one day and this upset the children in the Administration so they mindlessly did the Chicago thing.

  • Flowerknife_us

    FOX reports on Government Activities the Government doesn't want reported.
    The President said FOX wasn't a news Organization.
    Everybody in the Administration has lied about Libya.
    The IRS is after all Conservative support networks.
    The IRS will soon decide if you get Medical care.
    The Administration is desperate to take away Gun worth being called one.
    The Military apparently is incapable of responding to any emergency in anything like a timely manor.
    The President draws Red lines then looks for erasers.
    The Administration played with broken re-set toys.

    The Sewer is backing up in large measure due to FOX giving the subjects their fair due.

    Of course Holder knows nothing of what is going on under his authority. You can't expect some one who has been there as long as he has to actually know anything can you?

  • jamboy3

    I completely understand the necessity of an armed political purge.

  • Ellman

    "So that criminalizes the process, and it means that the dissemination of information, which is inevitable, out of the classified sources of that information will be stopped.”

    The assaults on our liberties and freedoms since the Obama regime was inaugurated in 2009 have been planned, prepared and perfected for decades. Fast & Furious, Benghazi, AP phone monitoring, IRS intimidation, etc. are part of a treacherous and treasonous strategy formulated and developed by the Left over decades. They are not the product of the Obama administration but their arrogant and unaccountable implementation was not possible until someone like Obama was elected President and someone like Holder was appointed Attorney General. We are seeing the tactics, methods and ideology of men like Saul Alinsky and Vladimir Lenin being used to destroy democracy and freedom to impose totalitarianism and the despotism of the Left. Why despotism? It's the only system which allows complete control and intimidation of the population so as to produce total conformity and obedience to government dictates and regulations. For a country that has been attempting to spread democracy and freedom since its foundation, we are becoming a country which is doing precisely the opposite within our own borders.

  • mlcblog

    Who indeed? perhaps God.

  • watsa46

    The administration want to impose its will on all journalists. All on the left have submitted like good "Muslims"! What is the response of the congress and senate? Deafening silence or collusion.