Tags: ap | phone | records | seizure

Judy Miller: Feds' Seizure of AP Phone Records 'Astonishing'

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 14 May 2013 04:52 PM

Judy Miller, the reporter who spent 85 days in jail for refusing to give up her sources in a scoop about the CIA, says the Justice Department's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records "boggles the mind.''

"This is truly an astonishing development. The most massive document seizure of a news organization in history was authorized by a deputy attorney general,'' Miller told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.

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"[And it's] because, for some inexplicable reason, the attorney general himself was interviewed by the FBI in connection with this criminal investigation. It boggles the mind.''

Miller, the former New York Times journalist who is now a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said it is hard to see how the size of such a seizure was justified.

"They not only got the records of the five individuals who were involved in reporting the May 7 story,'' she said.

"They also got the telephone records of everyone who was in one of those main offices of the AP . . . home, cell, office.''

While it's not known exactly how many AP employees were compromised, the number reportedly could reach 100.

"It's very hard to imagine that 100 people should have their privacy invaded, their records compromised by a leak,'' Miller told Steve Malzberg.

"I'm not saying it wasn't justified, but . . . all I can say is they better have a darn good reason for having done it.''

Miller said she isn't sure how the White House couldn't have known about the Justice Department's actions.

"How is it possible that it wouldn't rise to the level of the White House … if it's so serious?'' she said.

"There's just a lot that doesn't make sense here and coming on the heels of the Benghazi fiasco and the IRS scandal — which the president himself pronounced 'outrageous' — this administration's credibility is not high at the moment.''

Miller said her own ordeal — in which the federal government demanded to know who leaked her the information about Valarie Plame's identity as a CIA agent — dragged on for years.

"In the end, because of the 2-1 ruling in a federal district court, we lost,'' she said.

"So the New York Times records and mine and that of Phil Sheehan, my colleague at the Times, all of our records went over to the Justice Department.

"And nothing ever came of it except that our privacy and our ability to work as journalists was made more difficult.''

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