Eric Holder claimed that the story on the Yemen terror plot bust was the “worst” leak he’d seen. In fact, WaPo says just the opposite, that:
For five days, reporters at the Associated Press had been sitting on a big scoop about a foiled al-Qaeda plot at the request of CIA officials. Then, in a hastily scheduled Monday morning meeting, the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day.
The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.
AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon. Its May 2012 report is now at the center of a controversial and broad seizure of phone records of AP reporters’ home, office and cellphone lines. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the unauthorized disclosure about an intelligence operation to stop al-Qaeda from detonating explosives aboard a U.S. airliner was among the most serious leaks he could remember, and justified secretly obtaining records from a handful of reporters and editors over a span of two months.
Now, some members of Congress and media advocates are questioning why the administration viewed the leak that led to the May 7 AP story as so grave.
The president’s top counterterrorism adviser at the time, John O. Brennan, had appeared on “Good Morning America” the following day to trumpet the successful operation. He said that because of the work of U.S. intelligence, the plot did not pose an active threat to the American public.
Brennan himself said there was no threat, yet it was cited as an excuse to seize the AP’s phone records. So why was this spun as a grave threat to target the media, yet the bin Laden leak was not?
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned the Obama admin about these leaks as being legitimate threats back in 2011:
“My concern is that there were too many people in too many places talking too much about this operation. And we [had] reached agreement that we would not talk about the operational details,” he told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. “I am very concerned about this, because we want to retain the capability to carry out these kinds of operations in the future.”
The DOJ calls James Rosen “criminal” for reporting on an evergreen and non-secret “North Korea is going to conduct a nuke test?” The AP is targeted because it was going to scoop the White House? We have passed through the looking glass.
Maybe if AP and Fox reporters were making a laudatory film on Obama called “Zero Dark Thirty” the DOJ would have looked the other way, or maybe even colluded with them.