posted on Jun, 19 2013 @ 08:42 PM
Some folks have been a bit confused about why the scandal of tapping, probing and seizing records of U.S. Media organizations is both wrong and
harmful to the operation of a free and open press. It's been suggested that the actions taken by the Department of Justice on this matter were fully
justified and any secondary impact is just that, secondary and minor.
I believe quite the opposite to be true and feel it has and will continue to have a very chilling effect on sources and the ability of the press to
get information of any sensitive nature on those things we most need to know about. It seems the Associated Press, as one, agrees. They're seeing and
feeling the chill.
AFP - The US government's secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a "chilling effect" on newsgathering by the agency and other
news organizations, AP's top executive said Wednesday.
"Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us," AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech
to the National Press Club.
There are all kinds of things that may look good, feel good and even sound good in the heat of the moment for the pursuit of State Security. Those
measures, when used at all, should always be weighed with the damage inherent to those they are done against. In this case, I see the damage as far
outweiging any possible benefit.
Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder said the leak which prompted the seizure of journalist phone records was a "very serious" matter which
"puts the American people at risk."
Pruitt said Wednesday however that the AP waited five days before publishing the article, until after it had been assured by US officials that "the
national security risk had passed.
The damage done in this case was all over a story which ran publicly anyway, according to the A.P.. It just ran a few days later. There was no balance
I can see. Just damage. Profound and deep damage.