GOP Congressman Defends Surveillance of the AP: "They Are Doing What We Asked Them To Do"

The most appalling but largely ignored controversy is the  Department of Justice putting the Associated Press under surveillance, which happens in a police state. Freedom of the Press once meant something in this country, unless it was initiated by Republicans and that’s the case of the AP being surveilled. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) admitted as such during an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

Image: AP

Image: AP









Think Progress reports the dialogue:

 GOWDY: Greta, you were an attorney. There are lots of privileges — husband-wife, priest-penitent, attorney-client, none of them unqualified. So when you have a major national security leak, which is a compelling issue, and you juxtapose that with the right of the media to do its job and provide oversight, there’s a conflict. And there’s no federal statute on point. But the Supreme Court has said if there is a compelling interest, which there certainly is in national security cases, and the information is relevant which it has to be to justify a subpoena, and you have no alternative means of getting the information, then the Department of Justice had no choice. . . .

Think back a year ago. We had the attorney general and other Department of Justice employees, and we grilled them over national security leaks. And here they are doing what we asked them to do, investigate the leak.

Both parties are not the same. In the instance of the AP, Democrats do not excuse wireless wiretapping by either administration.

The Huffington Post reports, ” The George W. Bush administration used the NSA as the home base for an unauthorized, wide-reaching wiretapping program, which cemented suspicions that the agency considered itself above the law. In 2008, Congress passed a law making the wiretapping program legal, but also implemented changes to ensure that it only targeted people abroad.”

Republicans share a ‘meh’ attitude over the AP being monitored, however, it comes as no surprise since the Bush administration initiated warrantless wiretapping.

Just after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States.

More at Think Progress.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login