AP CEO Says DOJ Seized Records For 'Thousands And Thousands' of Phone Calls
Police State - Under normal circumstances it is hard enough to get the Elite Media to write meaningful stories about real news. Now with Comrade Obama's press intimidation and warrantless wiretapping programs the "free" press has been put on notice: "We know where you are, who you talk with and any affairs you are having. Don't fuck with us! We have the IRS watching our backs."
Take a guess how many whistleblowers will be calling any reporters these days with Big Brother watching.
Now the Associated Press president and chief executive Gary Pruitt has told staff at a Wednesday town hall meeting that the phone records obtained by the government included "thousands and thousands" of calls in and out of the news organization, according to a staffer who attended.
The AP revealed on May 13 that the Justice Department had seized records for 20 separate phone lines over a two-month period as part of a leak investigation, but has not mentioned how many calls may have been affected.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said Sunday on "Face the Nation." It was the methodology - "so sweeping, so secretively, so abusively and harassingly overbroad," he said - that breached the Constitution says the Huffington Post.
During the town hall, Pruitt reiterated that the AP did not report on a CIA-thwarted terrorist plot in May 2012 out of national security concerns until sources indicated the Obama administration was going to announce it publicly.
Pruitt explained. "So over 100, approximately a hundred journalists used these telephone lines as part of newsgathering and over the course of the two months of the records that they swept up, thousands upon thousands of newsgathering calls were made.
"...Under their own rules, they are required to narrow this request as narrowly as possible so as to not tread upon the First Amendment," he went on. "And yet they had a broad, sweeping collection, and they did it secretly. Their rules require them to come to us first but in this case they didn't, claiming an exception, saying that if they had it would have posed a substantial threat to their investigation. But they have not explained why it would and we can't understand why it would."
Pruitt said the AP acted "responsibly," holding the story for five days upon receiving guidance from the intelligence community that it posed a national security risk reports CBS News.
It was important for the American public to know about the CIA operation that thwarted an al Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airplane, he continued, because "the Department of Homeland security were telling the American public that there was no credible evidence of a terrorist plot related to the anniversary of the killing Of Osama bin Laden." That characterization was "misleading."
A call from a Washington, D.C. district attorney last week notified the AP of the subpoenaed phone records, Pruitt said. Since then, he added, "officials that would normally talk to us, and people we talk to in the normal course of newsgathering, are already saying they're a little reluctant to talk to us; they fear that they will be monitored by the government.
"...The government has no business having control over all, monitoring all of this newsgathering information from the Associated Press," he continued. "And if they restrict that apparatus, you're right - the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment."