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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.


Article Comments



May-19-13 8:06 PM

Americans are not supposed to ignore the constitutional rights of the press or of people speaking out politically. I do not expect my leaders to say, as Hillary Clinton did, that "it does not matter" who was responsible for the mess in Benghazi. I expect competence, respect for the rule of law and accountability when someone screws up from my leaders. If that sounds like someone on FOX News might say, so be it.


May-18-13 8:58 PM

Andrea, that latest comment was entirely too even handed. Though that final sentence was nicely nebulous, worthy of Faux News.


May-16-13 2:36 PM

Thanks for keeping us updated on these issues, Andrea.

And I appreciate your level-headed approach on this and other topics.

Have a great day


May-16-13 11:35 AM

I continue to have grave concerns about the Patriot Act and its threat to our civil liberties. The Bush Administration AND the Obama Administration, not to mention Congress, are responsible for any number of violations of civil liberties under that act, not limited to expanded use of phone taps and surveillance of e-mail/Internet use history surveillance, snooping in library records, etc.

During his testimony yesterday before Congress, Holder sounded evasive and attempted to place the blame on his second in command. There are also complaints about a lack of transparency regarding the IRS case and the Benghazi case.


May-15-13 10:50 PM

Then you have Holder.. Obama's "other brother" The guy who happens to be in contempt of Congress for unresolved questions and stonewalling over a deadly gun-walking scandal, and whose department is currently under investigation for tapping into a wide swath of AP journalists’ phone records — and who conveniently just can’t seem to remember when it was the he recused himself from what he acknowledges is that very serious case.

You really have to search far and wide for people as Corrupt as Holder and Obama. Their world will come crashing down before this is all over..


May-15-13 10:35 PM

This is Far Far from Over.. Obama is in the middle of a triple header and he can't catch!!! Liar Liar Pants on Fire!!!


May-15-13 10:33 PM

The Facts Rajh? Lets look at what Obama has done today.

The report concluded poor management allowed agents to improperly target Tea Party and other groups for more than 18 months, starting in 2010.

Starting in 2010..

President Obama announced Wednesday that acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller has resigned in the wake of the agency scandal in which conservative groups were targeted

Obama said Lew asked for the resignation and Miller agreed, after being on the job since November 2012.

So what this boils down to is they fired the guy that spilled the beans.. November 2012 comes WAY after the start of this in 2010.. So they fire the last guy in to make it look like they are doing something..

Obama wants the public to "understand and believe that the IRS applies our tax laws in a neutral and fair way to everyone."

Another LIE from the quack at the White House.. .


May-15-13 8:19 PM

This blog post is premature...You will know the facts in time. There are several assertions made here that do not comport with reality.


May-15-13 6:13 PM

Andrea Bush formed the patriot act He did not go rouge against the people. He followed procedure.And please name one time Bush stood before the American people and told them lie after lie after lie like Obama did on Benghazi!

Bush did not ask the IRS to target Democrats.. Bush did not go gather phone records from the AP. Bush did not leave our people in places around the world without protection.

Bush had daily briefings.. He knew what was happening in ALL his departments.. Obama and Holder both Lie like a couple of thugs that they are. Someone else did it I know nothing!!! How do you account for our leaders who seem to be unaccountable to even their own staffs? Its a neglect of duty, they are lying, and if they are not then neither Obama or Holder should have the jobs they have. We PAY them to LEAD!!!!


May-15-13 12:36 PM

Unfortunately, I doubt that a Republican President would have been any better. Bush certainly practiced many of the same tactics. The problem is the system itself: corruption, too many debts owed to lobbyists for rich corporations, a total disregard for privacy or civil liberties.


May-15-13 12:22 PM

The Government is over throwing the country just as Obama planned..

We warned you folks and you voted the crook into office.. None of these are accidents.. They are all preplanned by Obama and the Libs to get complete control of the country..


May-15-13 12:21 PM

The head that should roll is Obamas// Axelrod is out today saying the Government is just to big and Obama cannot be expected to know about everything..

If he just KNEW about something it would be a miracle..

Obama needs to be impeached.. Holder needs to go and the IRS now has control over your SS< Your Medical and all your personal information required on tax forms from WOMB TO TOMb and the libs wonder why we are stocking up on ammo????


May-15-13 11:49 AM

"Heads should roll" is obviously figurative, but I'm not interested in seeing them pick a convenient fall guy to take the blame for the people who are really responsible for these egregious actions either. There are a number of problems here, starting with the sheer arrogance of people in government who think they are above the law. It was a problem that also existed in the Bush administration and has probably been exacerbated by the Patriot Act and the many violations of civil liberties that have taken place in its name in the last 12 years.


May-15-13 11:45 AM

There is no case to be made, as far as I'm concerned. They went on a fishing expedition, in both cases, and invaded privacy without good cause, in many cases. Heads should roll.

The third scandal of the week is the matter of Benghazi. I smell a rotten fish there, as well.


May-14-13 7:47 PM

"...the actions of the IRS appear politically motivated."

My first thought? Yes.

However, I am willing to see the complete case made about the incidents, you know, the pros and cons of why the reporters' phone records were seized, why liberal groups were not scrutinized as carefully, etc.

I hope we see the cases made, clearly and thoroughly.


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