Such a bald statement from Reuters about the Department of Justice’s targeting of Fox News reporter James Rosen: “The Justice Department said on Friday that officials up to Attorney General Eric Holder vetted a decision to search an email account belonging to a Fox News reporter whose report on North Korea prompted a leak investigation” (Bolding mine). But there are three things that we can safely enough deduce from this:
- The decision to try to criminalize what is pretty standard journalistic behavior – simply put, the government has always reserved the right to punish leakers while also accepting (usually through gritted teeth) that they had to keep their hands off of reporters – was ultimately made by Attorney General Eric Holder. That is known. They just admitted it.
- It is virtually impossible to credit that Barack Obama has regulated his government in such a way so that Eric Holder does not feel either obligated or required to go to his boss and say Oh, by the way: we’re going to name a journalist as a flight risk and potential co-conspirator in a leak case so that we won’t have to tell his news organization that we’re tapping his email. Which does not mean that many people will not try to get around that rather commonsense observation.
- Eric Holder maybe will survive today, more’s the pity. He may even make it past next Friday. But even the Huffington Post has given up on this guy.
One thing not to deduce: that will be any ironclad evidence that Barack Obama signed off on Holder’s going after Rosen. Either Obama is telling the truth, and he really has set up his command structure to avoid being told of such activities; or Obama was told about this, and was smart enough to not write anything down. My guess would be the latter; and there’s going to be no way to prove it except via, ironically, another leak. Which is not to say that we should not go after Eric Holder hammer and tongs: he’s been a wretched Attorney General who has gotten people killed under his watch. And – based on Obama’s equally wretched track record with regard to nominees – his replacement will be guaranteed to spark an epic confirmation brawl in Congress…
Moe Lane (crosspost)