As the scandal over the attack on the press continues in the Associated Press investigation, another such attack has come to light. The Obama Administration in 2010 investigated Fox News correspondent Jeff Rosen and the FBI treated him as “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” for merely speaking with a source. It was a perfectly Nixonian moment – yet another example of how Obama has adopted many of the same abuses as Richard Nixon. While journalists, public interest groups, and even Democratic members have denounced the attack on the media in the Associated Press investigation, Obama stepped forward to defend the investigation and praise the work of the Justice Department. He doubled down on those complaining about his Administration’s shocking record on whistleblowers and reporters by saying that he would make “no apologies” for the greatest attack on the media in decades.
Of course, Richard Nixon was denounced for using the Espionage Act of 1917 to target Daniel Ellsberg. Obama has brought twice the number of such prosecutions of all prior presidents under the Act. Holder was there to justify every attack on the media.
Like the AP, Rosen simply reported on leaked information and was treated as a potential criminal by the Obama Administration. A government adviser was accused of leaking information after a 2009 story was published online which said North Korea planned to respond to looming U.N. sanctions with another nuclear test. The Obama Administration obtained email records from Rosen and identified him as a possible co-conspirator in a court affidavit.
As with the terrorist plot story of the AP, this was a fairly standard story that clearly was going to be made public eventually. Indeed, in the AP story, the journalists held the story until getting the green light from the CIA. They were then told that the White House wanted to make the announcement of their successfully foiling an attack.
While some Democrats have voiced concern about these stories, the response from liberals and Democrats remains remarkable muted even after years of stories of the Obama Administration cracking down on journalists and whistleblowers. It is the same trade off that civil libertarians have been in other civil liberties controversies. Democrats have repeatedly remained silent in the face of such attacks by Obama in a type of cult of personality. We saw it with torture, warrantless surveillance, the kill list policy and other scandals. Now Obama is demanding that the faithful turn their back on the free press as their latest article of loyalty.
I will say it again. There will come a day when some else sits in the Oval Office and will demand the same sweeping authoritarian powers wielded by Obama. At that time, Democrats and liberals will not be able to step over the mountain of hypocrisy to utter a feeble, belated objection.