The provocative headline “Obama administration mistakes journalism for espionage” doesn’t appear in a traditionally conservative paper like the NY Post or Wall Street Journal; it’s in the Washington Post. And before you equivocate, no, it’s not hovering over the byline of Charles Krauthammer or George Will at WaPo, it’s accompanying a column by long-time Obama apologist Eugene Robinson.
Robinson hammers the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice for their overreach in handling the Associated Press’ reporting of a foiled terror attempt. After laying-out the DOJ’s actions in secretly obtaining subpoenas which involved phone records of over one hundred reporters, as well as tracking the reporters’ movements and their emails, Robinson pulls no punch:
This heavy-handed business isn’t chilling, it’s just plain cold.
It also may well be unconstitutional. In my reading, the First Amendment prohibition against “abridging the freedom . . . of the press” should rule out secretly obtaining two months’ worth of the personal and professional phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors, including calls to and from the main AP phone number at the House press gallery in the Capitol. Yet this is what the Justice Department did.
In the past, Robinson has been a reliable defender of the administration and attack dog against grassroots conservatives. He’s also one of the many who still cling to the debunked notion that the tea party is racist and dangerous to America. So his choice to call the Administration, Holder, and Obama out over the AP scandal is noteworthy and significant.
If this had been the view of prior administrations, surely Bob Woodward would be a lifer in some federal prison. The cell next door might be occupied by my Post colleague Dana Priest, who disclosed the CIA’s network of secret prisons. Or by the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program…
…The president needs to understand that behavior commonly known as “whistleblowing” and “journalism” must not be construed as espionage.
Read the entire column here.