President Barack Obama recently came out to remind people that “Leaks related to national security can put people at risk.” He however denied knowledge of this and the other scandals. In the past, Obama has been able to weather criticism by civil libertarians due to his iconic status with many citizens. This time is different. The media (rather belatedly) is seeing his Administration in a different light as a true threat to liberty. Now, Obama has given a speech proclaiming that he now thinks that reporters should not fear investigation for just doing their jobs so he has ordered an investigation . . . by Eric Holder and the Justice Department. Of course, it was disclosed on the same day that it was Holder who approved the abusive targeting of Fox reporter Jeff Rosen.
Obama stated yesterday “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.” Once again, civil libertarians are left scratching their heads. There have been complaints for years about the abusive targeting of journalists and the treatment of reporting by the Obama Administration as part of a criminal conspiracy with whistleblowers. Yet, Obama (once again) simply comes forward and expresses concern as if this is the first time that he has heard about the abuses of his Administration.
I recently published a column on how Barack Obama has publicly assumed many of the powers that were once cited as the basis for the investigation and attempted impeachment of Richard Nixon. One of those areas was the Obama Administration’s crackdown on journalists. 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.
So now Obama has decided to act . . . by going to the very man responsible for this crackdown on both journalists and whistleblowers: “I have raised these issues with the attorney general, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the attorney general to report back to me by July 12th.”
That’s it? Holder will “hear their concerns” and report back to him? What is astonishing is that this speech was quickly embraced by Obama supporters as proof of principle from the President. Holder signed off on a search order targeting a journalist as a possible criminal co-conspirator for speaking with a source. He will now serve as some type of Obama therapy group leader on the anger and hurt felt by media organizations. I can only imagine the anatomical doll depicting the first amendment that Holder will pass around to allow journalists to voice their feelings and fears.
The Obama Administration — and yes, the President himself — is responsible for the greatest attack on a free press in this country in decades. His solution is a confab with the man targeting journalists. Notably, Obama insisted that analogies to Richard Nixon were misplaced. On that I must agree. Even Nixon would blush giving a speech like this.