Fox News reports that three Fox staffers, two reporters and one producer, were targeted by Barack Obama’s Justice Department. Fox doesn’t have all the details yet on reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine, but their emails showed up in a IG report regarding Fast and Furious. Either their emails were leaked by the Justice Department officials they were sent to, or the email accounts of both were subpoenaed and invaded by government investigators.
The IG report does say that subpoenas were issued to obtain emails. Whose email was targeted is not yet known.
The third staffer is reporter James Rosen. The Washington Post‘s story behind that is downright chilling. What we have here is a case of the Obama Administration criminalizing reporting.
In June of 2009, James Rosen of Fox News reported that North Korea might respond to an increase in United Nations sanctions with even more nuclear tests. Rosen added that the CIA had learned this information from their sources within North Korea.
According to the Washington Post, upon hearing learning of Rosen’s report, the White House launched what many believe is an unprecedented leak probe that went so far as to criminalize standard news-gathering.
Because the Justice Department believes the source of the leak to Rosen was Jin-Woo Kim, a government adviser, he is facing federal charges that could land him a 10-year prison sentence.
But in their zeal to dig into reporter Rosen’s part in this (and supposedly firm up their case against Kim), the Post reports that FBI agent Regineld Reyes claimed there was “evidence Rosen had broken the law, ‘at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.'”
After building their case against Kim, the Obama administration then went after Rosen, using his badge to trace his whereabouts in the State Department. But they also wanted Rosen’s emails. The Post writes that in order to do this, because of legal protections offered the media, the case had to be made that Rosen was a co-conspirator in a criminal conspiracy to leak national security secrets:
Privacy protections limit searching or seizing a reporter’s work, but not when there is evidence that the journalist broke the law against unauthorized leaks. A federal judge signed off on the search warrant — agreeing that there was probable cause that Rosen was a co-conspirator.
Rosen said the government never contacted him.
The thing you have to keep in mind here is that if Kim and Rosen did what the Obama administration says they did — it is something that happens almost every day between reporters and their sources. It is called everyday journalism; and the Obama administration is attempting to criminalize everyday journalism.
If sources are not leaking information to journalists, what is the alternative? Well, the only alternative is that the media write what the government tells them to write.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC