The DoJ vs. Leakers vs. Reporters

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Mark Wilson/Getty)

Details continue to emerge about how the Justice Department is investigating leakers and the reporters they collaborate with (including a long report in the Washington Post about Fox's James Rosen). Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker discusses the effect on journalists and the balance between revealing sensitive information and preserving freedom of the press.

Read: DoJ's Application for a Search Warrant of James Rosen's Email


Ryan Lizza

Comments [11]


James Fallows reports on the long reach of the Security State into the rarefied world of the rather small number of pilots who can afford to fly their privately owned small planes.

Drug War? Terra War? Who can know, as absolutely no explanations were given for the two inspections.

Just kinda interesting, given the actions of the government toward whstleblowers and the press.

May. 21 2013 12:43 PM

Juan Cole's take on Obama's relationship with whistleblowers.

The time and effort put into prosecuting Robert MacLean, a former air marshal fired for an act of whistleblowing, is stunning. And scary.

May. 21 2013 12:17 PM

Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald looks back at the Bush II administration, when the IRS went after liberal groups. Ooops? Or deliberate?

I knew there were these instances but had forgotten the details and names of the groups. But part of the role of the new MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) is to not only not tell us many things, but to leave out "inconvenient" details and context.

If the MCM were not so compliant, perhaps the government could not move forward on being so overbearing. We've lost more than information by the MCM going along to get access. We've lost civil liberties, and by crying "terra, terra, terra!" whenever they want to abrogate parts of the our Consitutional liberties, the government in place, be it Dem or Repub, can manage the press and control information flow to the public.

And, alas, even NPR/PBS are affected. Just look at how the Syrian "rebels" are being reported on, with almost breathless acceptance of whatever they claim. Compare that to how the MCM reportes on Iraqi deaths during our illegal invasion and occupation of that nation: To assist the government, the MCM would only report on, or at least emphasize, reports which comported with what the government wanted known. A very scientific report on the likely number of all deaths caused by our invasion? Ignored or trashed. Then, seldom mentioned except on the more oppositional blogs and web sites.

May. 21 2013 12:10 PM

Glenn Greenwald's post on this new* DOJ overreach (yes, I do indicate my opinon in using that word): Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes.

Part of the "indictment" of Rosen is that he set up secret drop system for information from Kim, had a "covert communications" system, etc. Ergo, he was a spy!!!

Greenwald has been pointing out how recent administrations (Bush the Younger and Obama) have been pushing the envelope on what is unacceptable behavior by anyone, but especially from the members of the press. Both administrations are prefectly comfortable with using the press to get out leaks of which they approve and which help them toward their objectives, but, dang, even whistle blowers who point out illegality or shoddy work by contractors of the administrations are considered criminals.

I'm sure Bush and Cheney felt they did nothing wrong in outing a covert CIA agent (Valerie Plame), but that was because THEY did it for THEIR reasons. Had someone else done it it would have been quite wrong.

Obama uses the same playbook.

*But do we even know if it is "new??

May. 21 2013 11:58 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


May. 21 2013 11:09 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Obama administration mistakes journalism for espionage" WASH POST

Even ultra-left Eugene Robinson (and African-American) - editorial lefty hatchet man who usually stays on the farm.

Obama is a thug (albeit a politically correct one).

May. 21 2013 11:05 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I recently said in a comment on a blog post, "Left- & right-wing totalitarian regimes aren't very different from each other. They do the same horrible things, just in the name of different, & supposedly opposite, ideologies." It was about Efrain Rios Montt's conviction for genocide in Guatemala, & this certainly isn't in the same category, but the general idea applies. I don't think the gov't's. actions in this case are at all specific to Communism.

May. 21 2013 10:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I thought the undercover agent was supposed to go back to al-Qaeda & continue his undercover activities, & I think there was a specific plot he was keeping tabs on. Exposing his existence (even w/out his name) after he was back in the US may not have endangered him, but it kept him from going back & reporting on that plot. Is that not what happened?

May. 21 2013 10:30 AM

"Any journalist who doesn't erupt with serious outrage and protest over this ought never again use that title to describe themselves." - Glenn Greenwald,

May. 21 2013 10:28 AM

@ superf88, 10:20:

Might you be confusing "communism" with totalitarianism, dictatorship or authoritarianism?

A rather common error, especially among the reflexively anti-Communist. (Not saying you are)

May. 21 2013 10:25 AM

I usually just sneer at the ignorance at play when Obama is accused of being a "Socialist." (Inaccurate on so many levels ). But I do know what communism is -- it's the governments position on this Rosen case. (Probably the ap case as well). Opacity and fear of transparency = lame.

May. 21 2013 10:20 AM

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