Justice Department Declared Fox Reporter Possible “Co-Conspirator” In 2010 Investigation

President_Barack_Obama220px-Richard_NixonAs 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.

45 thoughts on “Justice Department Declared Fox Reporter Possible “Co-Conspirator” In 2010 Investigation

  1. Mr. Turley I agree w/ everything except your metaphor of not being able to step over the mountain of hypocrisy. Both members of the duopoly are Mount Everest veterans. They don’t even need sherpas.

  2. Thanks, Swarthmore mom.

    Eugene Robinson:

    “In other words, since there is no law that makes publishing this classified information illegal, the Justice Department claims that obtaining the information was a violation of the Espionage Act.

    Rosen has not been charged. Every investigative reporter, however, has been put on notice.

    If this had been the view of prior administrations, surely Bob Woodward would be a lifer in some federal prison. The cell next door might be occupied by my Post colleague Dana Priest, who disclosed the CIA’s network of secret prisons. Or by the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program.

    A federal “shield” law protecting reporters from having to divulge their sources means nothing if it includes an exception for cases involving national security, as Obama favors. The president needs to understand that behavior commonly known as “whistleblowing” and “journalism” must not be construed as espionage.”

  3. Pundits from …Both sides use selective amnesia or sin of ommission as a modus operandi in reporting the orwellian(and fascist) methods of the opposition…we just wonder how the warrantless wiretaps of the Bush administration and use of the IRS, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc and the methods used by the BUsh administration to harrass Amerikan citizens critical of the war square with the present revelations…

  4. Swarthmore mom, I read this article yesterday and thought the same thing. I have seen Eugene be as partisan as any, if he comes to the defense of Fox news, you know something is up in the land of Oz.

  5. Glenn Greenwald, yesterday, with a couple of updates:

    “Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes”

    “Yet another serious escalation of the Obama administration’s attacks on press freedoms emerges”



    Here’s an amazing and revealing fact: after Richard Nixon lost the right to exercise prior restraint over the New York Times’ publication of the Pentagon Papers, he was desperate to punish and prosecute the responsible NYT reporter, Neil Sheehan. Thus, recounted the NYT’s lawyer at the time, James Goodale, Nixon concocted a theory:

    “Nixon convened a grand jury to indict the New York Times and its reporter, Neil Sheehan, for conspiracy to commit espionage . . . .The government’s ‘conspiracy’ theory centered around how Sheehan got the Pentagon Papers in the first place. While Daniel Ellsberg had his own copy stored in his apartment in Cambridge, the government believed Ellsberg had given part of the papers to anti-war activists. It apparently theorized further that the activists had talked to Sheehan about publication in the Times, all of which it believed amounted to a conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act.”

    As Goodale notes, this is exactly “the same charge Obama’s Justice Department is investigating Assange under today,” and it’s now exactly the same theory used to formally brand Fox’s James Rosen as a criminal in court. (end of “update”)

    Here’s a link to the old Daily Beast article cited by Greenwald:


  6. My favorite saying. There are two sides to every story, and both are usually full of shtuffing, and it takes a peculiar person willing to wade through the stench with a shovel to get to the truth. (My mother). Investigative journalists are those peculiar people, and we need them. Of course the journalism industry is not without it’s share of corruption, but there are still many out there who’s primary motivation is the truth, and they need protection from overbearing government types regardless of political flavor.

  7. Glenn Greenwald, again — his second update, yesterday”

    “Several other journalists have made some excellent points about the dangers presented by these actions, beginning with the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty:

    That, of course, is precisely the point of the unprecedented Obama war on whistleblowers and press freedoms: to ensure that the only information the public can get is information that the Obama administration wants it to have. That’s why Obama’s one-side games with secrecy – we’ll prolifically leak when it glorifies the president and severely punish all other kinds – is designed to construct the classic propaganda model. And it’s good to see journalists finally speaking out in genuine outrage and concern about all of this.

    Meanwhile, to convey just how warped this all is: it really is true that this very behavior of trying to criminalize national security reporting was a driving force of the worst elements on the Right during the Bush years; back then, I wrote constantly about the dangers to press freedoms such threats, by themselves, posed. Please just watch this 4-minute segment from a 2006 Meet the Press episode where the Washington Post’s Dana Priest explains to Bill Bennett, who had called for her imprisonment, exactly what press freedoms and the law actually provide; Bill Bennett is who – and what – the Obama DOJ and its defenders are channeling today:”

  8. The tweet that was inadvertently omitted above in the Greenwald update:

    Karen Tumulty ✔ @ktumulty

    The alternative to “conspiring” with leakers to get information: Just writing what the government tells you. @JamesRosenFNC

    10:08 AM – 20 May 2013

  9. Fox News is fair and balanced. We know that. No Fox News reporter is too dumb to get involved in an affair that is over his head. We need more leakers but they should leak to all. That is the philosophy if wikileaks. Leak to the world and you are safer. Unless you are Julian Assange and you pork a women in Sweden and dont use a rubber. Hmmm, which is kinda like this guy here from Fox who got involved in an affair over his head. We cant know all the facts because the facts are secret. Bad as Watergate? No. Same as WaterGate? No. Let others wallow in Water Gate. Why get hung up over a condo complex in DC? Life is too complex as it is. Reporting the news is also a matter of wording or fair and balanced employment of words. So Fox News would not confuse the world with something as complex as the WaterGate Complex in order to get their guy off the hook for perhaps being a news donnybrook.

  10. “Obama administration mistakes journalism for espionage” (SwM’s link)

    Echos of Mitchell’s famous last words to Carl Bernstein: “Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.”

    Former Atty General Mitchell served 19 months in prison which I’m certain he never considered possible when he was swinging his weight around in the DOJ.

    Obama and Holder should read recent history … it wasn’t the Democrats who brought Richard Nixon down, it was the press.

    Keep poking them with a stick and see what happens.

  11. Oh, mush BarkinDog. To be a co conspirator there must be a co. So, who did this guy conspire with and for what purpose? If it was all tied to giving us fair and balanced news then he is in the clear. So, who was his co conspirator and what were they conspiring to do?

  12. So North Korea was going to set off a nuclear bomb. Where? Not in South Korea I hope. Was that a fear at the time of the leak? Hmmn. No one talking on that point. Would the leak have precipitated the little midget into doing the bombing if he was on the fence so to speak at the 39th Parallel? Humm. I guess Fox News, which is fari and balanced knew all that there was to know about the situation when they gave it out from their situation room.
    Oh my God. N Korea is getting ready to shoot a missle. Where? With a bomb on it? When?
    Coming to a theatre near you.

  13. What if we obtain intelligence that the little midget has plans to send masses of troops to the DMZ? Should Fox News publish this in a fair and balanced way so that the world knows in advance? What if our source of intelligence was a nice little midget instead of the bad midget and the release of the information then exposes him as the source? And he gets killed? Fox News, fair and balanced. And what if our sources in N Korea dry up because of Fox News?

    Fox News is owned by some Scot nut named Murdoch. He applied for and obtained U.S. Citizenship so he could buy up our media giants. A media Giant like Murdoch sometimes does not know who to deal with a dictator Midget from North Korea who is sitting on nuclear weapons and trying to get some attention.

  14. Mein Gott. We have a Media Giant dealing with secret intelligence about the Nuclear Midget. We dont know the intentions of the Midget, the source of the intelligene or even the gist of it.

  15. Now is this where we all sing in goose step Hail to the King……and Shout in Greecian style “Heil Obama”…..



  16. 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.

    Obama got the idea to demand – and use! – those sweeping authoritarian powers from his predecessor who threw some mighty childish tantrums and used lots of scare tactics to convince our Cretinous Congress Critters to let him do whatever the hell he wanted. If Repukes object to Obama, they better look around and see who did not repeal those illegal and unconstitutional bits of legislation before Obama took office….

    I will repeat myself for what seems like the billionth time since that monstrously unconstitutional and illegal Patriot Act was passed and then added to with more outrageous unconstitutional “temporary” laws: Congress needs to repeal AUMF, Patriot Act, MCA ’06 (officially give us back our habeas corpus rights, dammit!!!), FISA fiasco ’08, and toss in a repeal or de-funding of the ‘office of faith-based initiatives’ which is run out of the White House and is (to my mind) a clear violation of the separation of church and state…, and they need to repeal Obama’s MCA ’09, too (which should never have been passed in the first place), and then add banning the drone bombings inside other countries – dropping bombs from drones by the US military are “acts of war” so we’ve violated many treaties during both the Bushista years AND the Obama years. Stop it, dammit!!!

  17. SWM, I haven’t heard any Rep. besides the Seantor Jowly say the AP surveillance was righteous. Have you?

    I thought of you this morning. The local paper profiles high school athletes. There was a profile in the morning paper of a young woman, Lulu Allen-Waller. She runs track and cross country @ Madison West H.S., a very liberal school w/ many UW professor children. Her dream car is “High Speed Rail.” Her primary source for news is the “NYT.” She is a member of the Young Democrats and volunteers for Wisconsin Public TV. Her post graduation plans, “Nerding out and continuing to run @ Swarthmore.” I believe she’ll blend in just fine.

  18. It would be very agreeable to see each national news outlet make a very emphatic denouncement of the administration and the president for attacks on the freedom of the press. If they all did it, they would not be singled out, and the administration would be given what it deserves.

    The press needs to go on the offensive with reporting and exposing all the violations of this administration. It is as Professor Turley suggests, important to prevent another scoundrel from abusing his / her office.

  19. Gene, Thanks for the story. I go over to Huffpost once in awhile, but it gives me agita so not very often. Attkisson was admonished by her editor about being hard on the Obama administration. It’s still early, but I will keep repeating, this is how the Chicago Machine operates.

  20. nick:

    from the article Gene H posted:

    “Attkisson was careful not to make any specific allegations about who had been targeting her, but she said it was possible there was a connection.”

    A possible connection?

    They also had a slide show of pictures of Obama in various stages of life and I couldnt help thinking that he had a lot of goodwill when he took office. If he had played it right he could have had most of the country eating out of his hand, even many on the right. I thought the birther thing was hooey and still do, Benghazi was an unfortunate accident in time of war. But using the IRS and the Justice department to harass citizens who are just doing their jobs? No way, time for him to go.

    He really isnt much of a politician when all is said and done. He was in too much of a hurry to implement his grand plans. Like health care, as much as I dont like the idea of socialized medicine there are some aspects I like in this plan and many people feel the same way.

    As much as I dont like taxes, I am not opposed to a 2-3% increase if it will actually help pay down the deficit in terms of real dollars and not just allow them to reduce the rate of increase. If we went back to say 2008 levels and reduced 2 or 3% per year in real terms how would that hurt people? We probably p8ss away more than that on stupid stuff.

    He really missed an opportunity, maybe he can turn it around, I think people are still willing to cut him some slack. If he cant, 2014 is really gong to suck for him and democrats in general. Although I dont think it is going to be any better for republicans, I for one am hoping a decent independent runs and we can clean up both the house and the senate.

    Maybe Mespo will run for the senate as an independent here in VA, one can only hope.

  21. Bron,

    Speaking words I agree with again….. Oh what a lovely day it is wherever you are….

  22. AY:

    Sorry to dissapoint but it is a lovely day here, sun shining a slight breeze and a comfortable 78 or so.

    I just like to argue, Mike S says I aint so good at it, so I practice every chance I get.:)

    Sheeit, if half these liberal crackers sat down and we got drunk together, they would sware I was one of their own just lost in the wilderness. That I took up with a woman of ill repute and she snookered me.

    What man can say, in all honesty, that he was never taken in by a pretty face with a dark heart? And how many men overlook a plain woman who has a pure heart?

    Brother Anonymous, you know the world isnt fair and certaintity is anything but for we humans. I hope there is some sunshine in your neck of the woods.

  23. Bron, The budget calls for $6 in taxes for every $1 in reductions. I guess that’s Chicago balance.

    Bravo w/ the idea of an idependent. And I would vote for mespo. Hell, I lived in Chicago, I’ll vote for him twice, just fly in w/ a couple different ID’s. I wasn’t aware you lived in Va.

  24. nick:

    yep, I always try to vote two or 3 times but I am always stopped by the blue hairs at the polling place.:)

  25. The only way to stop this continued rise in executive power is to take away some of that power. I have said it before and as NonnyO said earlier, repeal the AUMF and get rid of the Patriot Act. Without those over reaches of executive power, future Presidents will continue to increase their power.

  26. It is time for Obama to follow Nixons footsteps out the door by either resignation or removed. He is unfit to be president.

  27. SM:

    I cannot figure it out for the life of me.

    The building codes apply to all medical surgery centers. I had some minor out patient surgery last year and was talking to the surgeon about his huge operating room and he said it was a state building code. It seemed a bit ridiculous because they were huge and you could have fit at least 3 and possibly 4 of his units in one of these rooms.

    All surgery centers must be fully equiped.

  28. DOJ Seized Fox News Phone Records: New Yorker

    The Huffington Post | By Jack Mirkinson Posted: 05/21/2013 5:43 pm EDT | Updated: 05/21/2013 6:09 pm EDT



    May 21, 2013
    The Justice Department and Fox News’s Phone Records
    Posted by Ryan Lizza


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