Tag Archives: AP spying

Transparency is for the little people; Obama Administration’s secret e-mail accounts . . .

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.
The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.
The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged – but often happens anyway – due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.
The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.
“What happens when that person doesn’t work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years,” said Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, an open government group. “Who’s going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that isn’t happening.”

Perjury: Lewis (Scooter) Libby was imprisoned for less . . .

NY Post:

Yesterday’s acknowledgment is likely to bring added scrutiny to Holder’s own [sworn] testimony before the House Judiciary Committee two weeks ago about a different leak investigation where the feds seized phone records used by up to 100 Associated Press reporters.

Holder, who said he had recused himself from the AP investigation, seemed to broadly rule out prosecuting any reporters in his remarks.

“With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said.

“The focus should be on those people who break their oath and put the American people at risk, not reporters who gather this information. That should not be the focus . . . of these investigations,” he continued.

The government hasn’t charged Rosen with any crime in relation with his 2009 article, which cited intelligence material about North Korea.

But the 2010 search warrant Holder green-lighted called Rosen an “aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” in an alleged crime — violating the Espionage Act. It stated there was “probable cause to believe that the reporter has committed or is committing a violation” of the law, and said Rosen’s e-mail account contained “evidence, fruits, and instrumentalities of that violation.”

Obama grasps for a handle on scandal . . .

From the Center for the Center:

The Obama strategy for avoiding the political and legal consequences of the three primary scandals facing him is becoming clear. The Center sees the Obama strategy as follows:

1. AP/Fox News scandal: Obama’s “preferred” scandal. Obama is betting that the public will ultimately hold little sympathy for the mainstream media in the context of Obama protecting “national security” interests. Holder will soon take one for the team and resign.

2. Benghazi: This is Obama’s second favorite scandal because it is the most easy to politicize by blaming Republicans for “prolonging” a tragedy when “there is no there, there,” according to Obama. Besides, ultimately, Hillary is responsible and will eventually find herself under the bus.

3. IRS suppression of the Tea Party during the Presidential election: Obama’s most difficult challenge. The emerging strategy is to vigorously shove as many IRS employees, and soon White House staffers, under the bus as is necessary to insulate Obama. The campaign to portray the IRS as somehow confused by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United v FCC opinion, and to further vilify the Tea Party, is beginning in earnest.

Michael Goodwin sums it up . . .

“As a metaphor for big government, it is hard to top the Justice Department’s seizing of journalists’ phone records from The Associated Press.

Unless, of course, you think the best example is the Internal Revenue Service turning the screws on groups it viewed as conservative and, therefore, unworthy of fair treatment.

Or maybe the winner is the sneaky spreading of ObamaCare’s tentacles, with insurance companies now predicting the law will drive up the cost of individual premiums by as much as 400 percent.

There are no losers in this race to the bottom — except the American people. It is tempting to ask whether they’ve had enough Hope & Change, but the question is premature. With 44 months to go in the reign of the Great Mistake, the gods are not done punishing us.”

Holder: I never told the White House that I was recusing myself from the DOJ investigation of one of the most significant national security leaks in history . . .

By Jennifer Rubin

“Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee he recused himself from the leak investigation involving sweeping surveillance of the Associated Press because he was a “fact witness,” meaning he had access to the classified data at issue and was questioned about it. But he can’t recall when he recused himself. And it wasn’t in writing. In one of the worst security leaks of which he is aware, he never told the White House that he took himself out of the loop.”