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Obama Administration Also Seized Phone Records Of Fox News

The Associated Press were not the only ones to have their phone records seized by the government as it was revealed Tuesday that Fox News had their phone records seized as part of the Obama Administration’s war on whistleblowers. After being labeled a “co-conspirator” Fox News reporter James Rosen was targeted for doing basic journalism.

The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, on October 13, 2011…

Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number.

It had been previously reported that Rosen’s personal emails on his gmail account were seized as part of the investigation.

The New York Times condemned the actions of the Obama Justice Department Tuesday as endangering the freedom of the press.

With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news

The Rosen case follows other signs that the administration has gone overboard in its zeal to find and muzzle insiders. The Associated Press revealed last week that the government had secretly seized two months’ worth of records for telephones used by the agency’s staff, partly to determine the source of a leak about a report involving a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen. At least two other major leak investigations are continuing. Six current and former administration officials have been indicted under the old Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press and public…

Obama administration officials often talk about the balance between protecting secrets and protecting the constitutional rights of a free press. Accusing a reporter of being a “co-conspirator,” on top of other zealous and secretive investigations, shows a heavy tilt toward secrecy and insufficient concern about a free press.

The attack by the Obama Administration on basic journalistic practices could have long lasting impact on the American media, particularly the labeling of a journalist talking to a source of information as “co-conspiracy” in a crime. Even more astounding is the hyper-vigilance being shown against minor leaks of information to journalists when compared to the Justice Department’s blase attitude towards crime on Wall Street which brought actual instability to the country in 2008 or, rather, is a genuine threat to National Security.

Not to mention the White House leaks information to the press constantly. Was Isikoff a co-conspirator? Or is this attack on journalism about something else?

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.