A caricature of Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama presiding on a ficticious White House Court
The Justice Department's secret seizing of A.P. reporter's phone records alongside the administrations supposed push (ruse?) for federal protection of journalists and their sources reveals a simple contradiction. It cloaks the administrations true intentions, which is to intimidate and cow truth tellers from exposing secret government actions and wrong doing to investigative reporters.
Of course the seizure by the Justice Department goes against the Constitution's 1 st Amendment while the government issues its standard canard of protecting national security as the basis for issuing the subpoenas.
As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is seen doing verbal gymnastics to reporters queries of the Justice Department's actions there's Attorney General Eric Holder giving testimony on Capitol Hill stating he recused himself from the investigation "a year ago" turning it over to Deputy Attorney General James Cole who approved the subpoenas.
Holder maintains he didn't know about the subpoenas and the White House maintains the president also was unaware of the subpoenas and hasn't been involved in the criminal investigation. So apparently we're supposed to believe it was only the underling Cole acting on his own in order to inoculate Obama and Holder from their part in this imbroglio. Yeah right!
Last night on "Democracy Now", Chris Hedges described the government's actions as "fitting a pattern", i.e. prosecuting Bradley Manning, wanting to get Wikileaks Julian Assange for his publishing the government's often nefarious policies and actions, Obama's signing into law the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) that gives the president the sole authority to hold anyone in indefinite detention without due process, including American citizens as well as its single minded intent to go after all government leakers.
It's as if Daniel Ellsberg wasn't completely exonerated for revealing in the "Pentagon Papers" the governments lies and wrongdoing in the Viet Nam war.
It is noteworthy in 2008, as a candidate running for the presidency, Barack Obama told a an Associated Press forum, "And that simple principle, that there's somebody watching the watcher, that there is not simply somebody in the White House somewhere who is making unilateral decisions about how we strike a balance between our civil liberties and our safety" that simple principle is one that we can't give up and we don't have to give up." He added, "Because it turns out that actually, the courts, generally are pretty good at this stuff."
But like so much of his 2008 campaign rhetoric, Obama as president has betrayed the above quoted principles by super-ceding the court's ability to determine any wrong doing that may have been committed by leakers and reporters and granting his Executive branch the power to unilaterally be judge, jury and prosecutor by issuing these subpoenas.
So like his predecessor George W. Bush issuing himself "unitary executive" powers, Barack Obama has inherited and broadened those Executive powers and is fast shredding the Constitution of its protection clauses, all in the bogus claim of national security.
These are police state tactics, not something unilaterally exercised by the Executive branch in a Constitutional democracy.