Tags: carl | bernstein | ap | scandal

Carl Bernstein: AP Phone Scandal a 'Nuclear Event'

Image: Carl Bernstein: AP Phone Scandal a 'Nuclear Event'

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:11 AM

By By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called the scandal involving the Department of Justice securing telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors a "nuclear event."

"This is outrageous," Bernstein said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It is totally inexcusable. This administration has been terrible on this subject from the beginning.

"The object of it is to intimidate people who talk to reporters," he said. "This was an accident waiting to become a nuclear event, and now it's happened."

The AP reported late Monday afternoon that the "Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press."

The organization was not told the reason for the seizure. But the timing and the specific journalistic targets strongly suggest they are related to a continuing government investigation into the leaking of information a year ago about the CIA's disruption of a Yemen-based terrorist plot to bomb an airliner, The New York Times reported.

The development represents the latest collision of news organizations and federal investigators over government efforts to prevent the disclosure of national security information, and it comes against a backdrop of an aggressive policy by the Obama administration to rein in leaks, according to The New York Times.

Under President Barack Obama, six current and former government officials have been indicted in leak-related cases, twice the number brought under all previous administrations combined.

"The numerical thing doesn't matter," said Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who, along with Bob Woodward, broke the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. "What matters is, this is a matter of policy. It is known to the president of the United States that this is the policy. To say that there was no knowledge, in quotes, specifically about this in the White House is nonsense."

"This is a policy matter, and this does go to the president and the people around him," he said. "The idea is to try and make an example of those people who talk to reporters, especially on national security matters. National security is always the false claim of administrations trying to hide things that people ought to know."

That the Justice Department sought records of phone calls made over congressional phone lines could also raise a separation of powers issue between the administration and legislative branches of government.

"The First Amendment is first for a reason," House Speaker John Boehner spokesman Michael Steel tells Newsmax. "If the Obama administration is going after reporters' phone records, they better have a damned good explanation."


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Boehner, Lawmakers: We Stand With Israel

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 08:17 AM

As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure  . . .

Voters to Obama: Stay Off the Campaign Trail

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:40 AM

President Barack Obama should stay off the campaign trail if Democrats are to hold on to their seats in the House in Nov . . .

Study: 35 Percent of Americans Facing Debt Collectors

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:15 AM

More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved