Jonathan Turley’s blog May 24th 2013
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.