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Obama administration runs roughshod over our freedoms
May 14, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
The Obama administration appears to have meager respect for our liberties.
Yesterday we learned that the Justice Department, under the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, ordered the seizure of phone records from Associated Press reporters. According to the AP, the phone record seizure might be related to the government trying to determine who leaked information to a reporter about a terrorist attack that was prevented, including CIA involvement in Yemen in Yemen. The AP ran a story on that operation on May 7, 2012.
According to the AP, the Department of Justice seized records from more than 20 phone lines in AP bureaus, affecting more than 100 journalists. The AP also seized home phone records and cell phone records for some journalists who work at the AP. This news broke during the same week that we learned that the IRS gave greater scrutiny to conservative political groups who applied for tax exempt status in the lead up to last year's Presidential election.
Both of these actions are completely unacceptable and should alarm anyone who is concerned with preserving his or her freedom. If the government can use such a broad interpretation of the law to demand phone records for so many reporters, what's to stop them from demanding your phone records under the thinnest of pretenses? Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt claimed in a letter that the government has disregarded its own regulations, which require a subpoena for a reporter's phone records to be as "narrowly drawn as possible." That didn't happen in this case and there are probably a number of similar cases that we just don't know about right now. Likewise, the actions of the IRS appear politically motivated.
It really doesn't matter whether the administration in question is Republican or Democrat, since both parties are capable of the same egregious disregard for our freedoms. In these cases, it just happened to be a Democrat administration going after conservative groups. Next time around, it might be a Republican-dominated government going after the Democrats.
I think these people are in for a refresher course on what it really means to be an American.
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