Team Watergate is coming together again. I’m guessing the left’s response will be that Bernstein is also an overrated hack who is just trolling for attention. That worked to shut Woodward up, didn’t it?
Except outrage over seizing AP phone records might be enough of a liberal cause that Bernstein can get away with it. And that allows Bernstein to reference Obama Inc’s terrible transparency and media record.
Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called the scandal involving the Department of Justice securing telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors a “nuclear event.”
“This is outrageous,” Bernstein said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It is totally inexcusable. This administration has been terrible on this subject from the beginning.
“The object of it is to intimidate people who talk to reporters,” he said. “This was an accident waiting to become a nuclear event, and now it’s happened.”
“The numerical thing doesn’t matter,” said Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who, along with Bob Woodward, broke the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. “What matters is, this is a matter of policy. It is known to the president of the United States that this is the policy. To say that there was no knowledge, in quotes, specifically about this in the White House is nonsense.”
“This is a policy matter, and this does go to the president and the people around him,” he said. “The idea is to try and make an example of those people who talk to reporters, especially on national security matters. National security is always the false claim of administrations trying to hide things that people ought to know.”
Considering that Holder had to approve the seizure, we are looking at a cabinet level decision here. The question is what was so urgent that Obama Inc. decided to take on the country’s biggest wire service and rile the media?
Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., revealed in a letter to the AP on Friday that federal prosecutors obtained the records. The letter did not give a reason for obtaining the records, but Machen is conducting an investigation into the leak of classified information about a foiled terror plot in Yemen last year. An AP story last spring reported details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.
This is not an admin that cares all that much about operational integrity. There were major leaks after the Bin Laden takedown that got members of SEAL Team Six killed. If Holder decided to go all in on the AP, it had to be political. A way of sending a message to the media to keep it in line.
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren told POLITICO in an email that the DOJ’s seizure “sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media,” not a criminal investigation.
“What is stunning is the breadth of the seizure!” Van Susteren said. “If you read the AP President’s letter to DOJ, and if his letter is accurate, the seizure was very broad: 2 months of telephone records involving many who work at AP! 20 phone lines, home and cell? NY, DC, Connecticut employees? That doesn’t sound like a criminal investigation, that sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media. ”