|Is prior restraint from the Obama administration just around |
the corner, are intimidation and persecution enough?
The Washington Post has the sad story that the Fourth Amendment and First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press are imperiled in the United States, specifically in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the U.S. DoJ, and the work of journalist, James Rosen.
The Kim/Rosen revelations follow the AP and seizure of phone records story.
From Mr. Kim's legal defense website, reads the statement from counsel, Abbe D. Lowell:
On August 27, 2010 the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s office charged Stephen Kim with illegally disclosing national defense information (classified information) to someone [Fox's James Rosen] in the media. The government has not alleged that Stephen gave away any document, that he was paid to do anything, that he stole the information, or that he acted in secret. It does not allege that Stephen was a spy or that he acted to assist an enemy of the United States. And, it does not allege that Stephen engaged in a pattern of misconduct. Rather, the case against Stephen Kim seems to be based on a prosecutor’s theory that Stephen talked to someone in the media about a topic of current events and – in that one and only conversation – disclosed classified information. It is a 'leak' case. Along with many who have commented, we think an unfounded one.Notes Ann E. Marimow in The Post:
The case also raises new concerns among critics of government secrecy about the possible stifling effect of these investigations on a critical element of press freedom: the exchange of information between reporters and their sources.No one believes the Tea Party much cares about or understands constitutional rights. That's unfortunate.
Because what is happening under President Obama and Eric Holder's DoJ shows the depths to which the United States has fallen, now using the Espionage Act as its crusading, anti-terror tool in the administration's rapacious project against government leakers.
This is a scandal: Obama's war on whistleblowers.
Ask Bradley Manning. Or, as Eli Lake correctly characterizes this: "Obama's war on jounrnalism."
Writes Glenn Greewald in The Guardian:
But what makes this revelation particularly disturbing is that the DOJ, in order to get this search warrant, insisted that not only Kim, but also Rosen - the journalist - committed serious crimes. The DOJ specifically argued that by encouraging his source to disclose classified information - something investigative journalists do every day - Rosen himself broke the law. Describing an affidavit from FBI agent Reginald Reyes filed by the DOJ, the Post reports [emphasis added]:
"Reyes wrote that there was evidence Rosen had broken the law, 'at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator'. That fact distinguishes his case from the probe of the AP, in which the news organization is not the likely target. Using italics for emphasis, Reyes explained how Rosen allegedly used a 'covert communications plan' and quoted from an e-mail exchange between Rosen and Kim that seems to describe a secret system for passing along information. . . . However, it remains an open question whether it's ever illegal, given the First Amendment's protection of press freedom, for a reporter to solicit information. No reporter, including Rosen, has been prosecuted for doing so."Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment's guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.