Claiming "Flat Out
Falsehoods" on Fox, Texas Senator Names None
By William Boardman
How Come So Many People Are Howling for Holder's Head?
Attorney General Eric Holder, under growing pressure from many in mainstream media and elsewhere for his "attacks" on the First Amendment in general, and reporters in particular, had a lifeline thrown to him awhile back by an unlikely combination -- Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, on Fox News, May 30:
"It's unprecedented. The degree of willingness of this administration to target a reporter for this network as an unindicted co-conspirator -- I mean, that is without precedent. And unfortunately, I think it's part and parcel of a pattern from this administration of not respecting the Bill of Rights".
"I think President Obama needs to take responsibility and needs to tell the truth. You know, in recent weeks, there are at least two instances of senior officials for the administration telling flat out falsehoods."
Sen. Cruz was referring primarily to the recent news that Fox News reporter James Rosen was investigated in relation to his 2009 stories based in part on leaks about U.S. responses to "repeated provocations" by North Korea. Part of the problem for Rosen is that he unnecessarily revealed that the CIA had a source in North Korea then, though probably not now.
The Justice Department had subpoenaed Rosen's phone and email records as part of its leak investigation, issuing a subpoena (technically a 44-page application for a search warrant, issued under seal, for the period May 28-June 11, 2010) that characterized Rosen as "an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" in relation to the leaks. The search warrant granted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay required no notice to Rosen for 30 days.
On May 22, 2013, acting on motion by the United States, Judge Royce Lambeth issued a 183-page order to "unseal and place on the public docket redacted versions of the documents" (including the sealed search warrant) and to give "unredacted versions of all the unsealed material to the defense" in the case against Rosen's source.
Government Has Two Kinds of Leaks -- Ones It Makes, Ones It Prosecutes
Two years after the search warrant, reporter Rosen has not been charged with any crime. Another, more famous unindicted co-conspirator, Richard Nixon, was never charged with any crime. On May 31, the Justice Department said in a statement that its prosecutors had never sought approval to bring criminal charges against Rosen and that the department did not anticipate bringing any such charges.
The statement added that: "During the Attorney General's tenure, no reporter has ever been prosecuted." (On March 14, 2013, Forbes reported, the Justice Department indicted reporter Matthew Keys on three counts of hacker-related felonies, punishable by 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.)
Rosen's alleged source, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, was a State Department contractor after getting a masters degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Yale. He was an expert in North Korea's nuclear weapons program. In August 2010, a grand jury indicted him on two charges: "unauthorized disclosure of National Defense Information (under the Espionage Act) and making false statements. He has pled not guilty and his trial is pending.