Prying government eyes
To the Editor: The U.S. Justice Department covert seizure of Associated Press phone records in April/May 2012 is correctly described as an “affront to the free press clause of the First Amendment” in the editorial published on May 18, 2013 in the Corsicana Daily Sun. As stated, a free independent press is critical to keeping government honest and transparent.
This latest revealed collision of news organizations and the Obama Administration over the disclosure of national security information, shows the aggressive policy of the U.S. Justice Department to rein in leaks, according to the New York Times. The purpose is to make an example of government officials who talk to reporters.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined. Along with Holder’s refusal to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests and his repeating of “I don’t know” before Congress — this policy is outrageous in a democracy that values freedom of the press.
For example, in June 2009, FBI agents tracked the telephone calls and e-mails of Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen to a government advisor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim. Rosen had reported that U.S. intelligence officials were warning that North Korea was likely to respond to United National sanctions with more nuclear tests. Attorney General Holder personally signed off on the search warrant, naming Rosen a “possible co-conspirator” in violation of the Espionage Act for obtaining leaked classified information from Kim. In previous administrations, the focus has been upon the government leader, not the journalist. Yet in this instance, the focus was on depicting James Rosen as a criminal, for having received information from someone inside the government.
No wonder that there is little negative press about the Obama Administration, which embarrasses the President. National security is always the excuse of administrations trying to hide things people ought to know.
Steven L. Jessup
Prying government eyes
‘Spilling doze count’
My subject is borrowed from a local contributor to the Sarasota Herald Tribune named Bob Parkinson.
Water Park woes
I’ve come to the realization that vacations are not a luxury, they’re a necessity.
Old, new, borrowed, blue
Dissection of notes found in the pocket of an old suit isn’t easy. Maybe they were scrawled during the lull in a wedding ceremony, or to jog my memory of a joke for later use.
Spam french fries
I saw a relatively disturbing video and article on Yahoo which touted making Spam French fires to go alongside your big old ground chuck burger. I just can’t imagine a basket full of these deep-fried cholesterol-loaded sticks, but there they were, bigger than Texas.
Dumb and dumber in the blotter
When it comes to dumb criminals, nothing beats the would-be gang of car burglars who tried to break into a car in Tampa, Florida, this past week.
‘Change’ — old "buzz word" shows up in our town
If you pay much attention when you’re driving around town lately (and I really hope that you do — pay attention, that is) you can’t help but admit we’ve seen some “change” as of late. And, contrary to the political connotations that word will forever carry with it now, that “change” we’re seeing is good.
Germany present and past
Last Sunday evening my wife and I stood on the balcony of our apartment in Nuremberg and watched as fireworks lit up the sky.
Where strawberries are king
In 1949, when Stilwell, Oklahoma’s “Strawberry Festival” was just one year old, crooners were applauded when they cut loose with Dear Hearts and Gentle People.
My TV is held hostage
Give me back my TV! The Sunday sports fare today is just pitiful as far as I am concerned. Over the past weeks, my normal sports programs has been rudely preempted by endless hours of Wimbledon tennis, the Tour de France, assorted motor sports, and the nauseating mega-million signing sagas of LeBron James and Carmello Anthony
Thoughts from abroad
So, with the generosity of Mastercard and warm encouragement of my friends who went with me, I went to Italy on vacation. Not Italy, Texas, the one in Europe.
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- ‘Spilling doze count’