Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Throwing a chill into the press … The administration’s latest tactic.

The Justice Department’s monitoring of the AP’s phone records is one of the most bone headed moves of this administration.  And to announce it on the heels of two major scandals seems to defy logic.  But does it?

The only thing standing in the way of a torrent of whistle blowers, purloined emails and first hand testimony has been the pliant and fawning media.  They have ignored blatant falsehoods, obvious phony cover stories and have not followed through on potentially explosive stories such as Fast and Furious.  With few exceptions, the established media has been an effective shield protecting those senior level officials who are the motivating forces in this thuggish and deceitful administration.  But with the Benghazi hearings and the disclosure of the IRS targeting conservative political groups, that protective wall is crumbling.  At recent press conferences, Jay Carney has been pummeled.  And the President knows he will come under fire in the IRS scandal.

So how do you stop the potential Woodward and Bernsteins?  

In every administration there are disaffected people.  Some are elbowed out, some tire of the job and some leave because of philosophical differences.  Obama’s entire original White House financial team has left.  There are 4 flag level military of former military, who were either relieved of command or forced out shortly after Benghazi.  There are lower level folks who through gossip or otherwise, know where bodies lie. 

So the administration must throw a chill into potential sources, which is precisely what the Justice Department is trying to do.  It is sending a message, Chicago style, saying we will know who you are and you will pay for it.

Matt Drudge, remembering how Deep Throat passed messages, tweeted:

Warning to reporters and sources: Assume all your communications are being monitored. Time to move back to the parking garage #longhotsummer

Journalists and sources:  Actually that may not work.  If you have your cell phone with you, even turned off, you can be tracked.  The best way is the US mail, either to you or a nearby trusted friend.  Phone records require only a subpoena, intercepting mail requires probable cause and a court order.


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