The Justice Department’s seizure of the AP’s phone records shows that this administration cares far more about power than political and civil liberty. It has intruded on the freedom of the press in ways that the allegedly power-hungry Bush Administration would never have dreamed.
When the Bush administration was wracked with the leaks of classified information about its counter-terrorism policies, most notably its interrogation and electronic surveillance programs, Democrats in Congress happily took advantage of the information. Nary a peep was heard about protecting national security and preventing the media from publishing classified information.
But now President Obama has to live in the leak-happy world that he and his colleagues created to undermine the last administration. And they don’t like it. Unlike the Bush administration, however, they are willing to go to lengths that threaten the freedom of the press to stop it — this administration has conducted far more investigations and prosecutions for leaking than its predecessors. And, for the most part, this administration has gotten away with it from the press, which has given them a pass on civil liberties compared to how they treated Republicans.
I deplore the Obama administration’s assault on freedom of the press. But I have no sympathy for the AP or the mainstream media, because this is how you get treated when you are in a politician’s pocket. If the AP’s editors and reporters and their colleagues at other newspapers had been more adversarial toward this President, as they were with President Bush, they would been treated with far more respect. The AP should wish for a return of the days of a Republican administration, which considered the press a worthy adversary, rather than a servant to be mistreated at will.