The Obama administration has targeted a Fox News reporter, claiming he is a “co-conspirator” for publishing classified information — even though it’s not illegal to do so.
In an angry power grab, the Justice Department is trying to redefine the rights of journalists by essentially claiming that it’s illegal to solicit and republish classified information. Until now, this was relatively common for journalists — it’s only illegal for the leaks to be given, not to be reported on.
The reason for this is simple: a free press is absolutely vital to anything remotely healthy for the people. Just because something is classified doesn’t mean the press can’t report on it if it’s leaked. Stopping the leaks is the government’s responsibility — not punishing the publisher. Background Information on the Case
From John Sexton at Breitbart:
The newly published request for a search warrant of James Rosen’s email account makes clear that Rosen himself is a target of the investigation. The document compares Rosen to an “intelligence officer” whose actions make him a “co-conspirator” rather than a reporter doing his job.
At issue is a 2009 article by Fox News’ James Rosen which allegedly contained classified information gained from a source within the State Department. While it is illegal for a government employee to hand over secret information to a reporter, it is not illegal for a reporter to publish that information. However, the Obama administration seems intent on challenging that assumption.
The Obama administration is essentially trying to frighten journalists in even thinking about publishing classified data, even if it’s important and should be published. The reason should be obvious: they have a heck of a lot to hide, and a free press could reveal everything.
Note that Rosen — the journalist being targeted — is also a Fox News reporter who has reported on Benghazi and many other scandals that essentially require leaks for us to ever get to the truth. For example, he’s the author of this news article on how the Benghazi panel created by Hillary was under investigation itself.
While we disagree strongly with Marco Rubio on many issues, he’s dead right in his following response, emphasis mine:
“I am very concerned by reports the Obama administration targeted a FOX News reporter for possible criminal prosecution for doing what appears to be normal news-gathering protected by the First Amendment.
The sort of reporting by James Rosen detailed in the report is the same sort of reporting that helped Mr. Rosen aggressively pursue questions about the administration’s handling of Benghazi.
National security leaks are criminal and put American lives on the line, and federal prosecutors should, of course, vigorously investigate. But we expect that they do so within the bounds of the law, and that the investigations focus on the leakers within the government – not on media organizations that have First Amendment protections and serve vital function in our democracy.”
Remember, this administration is already attacking the Associated Press, using the IRS to rig the election, and using the IRS to punish a journalist for even asking Obama difficult questions.
Massive corruption requires a strong press to reveal it. No wonder the Obama administration hates a free press.
This is why it’s vital that the White House not be able to limit the freedom of the press. The people have a right to know the truth. If they can’t stop the leaks, then that’s their problem and they need new leadership — the people deserve the truth.