Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Judge orders DOJ to release Fast and Furious documents blocked by Obama

Katie Pavlich reports on it for Townhall.com.

Excerpt:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

“This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal,” Judicial Watch released in a statement.

The FOIA lawsuit has been ongoing for 16-months and is now proceeding after a lengthy delay. The Justice Department originally asked the court for an indefinite hold on a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, citing executive privilege and an ongoing investigation. That indefinite hold request was shot down more than a year ago.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

Unfortunately, this is coming too late for Obama’s 2012 re-election contest, and the mainstream media is unlikely to report it, just like they failed to report the IRS scandal. But if we all share this story, it will help people to realize how lawless and corrupt this administration really is. It’s gangster government, as Michele Bachmann said. The crooks are in charge.

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Sharyl Attkisson on Fox News describing White House harassment of journalists

You’ll remember that Sharyl Attkisson used to work at CBS News, and did the best investigative journalism on the Obama administration’s”Fast and Furious” gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels, and then again on the CIA cover-up of the Obama administration’s foreign policy weakness in the Benghazi massacre. I always disliked her as a journalist when she was attacking the Bush administration so effectively, but I’ve sort of realized that she just thinks that it’s her job to attack and expose whoever is in power. But whereas the Bush administration never did anything to her, the Obama administration is different.

The Daily Caller reports.

Excerpt:

Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson accused the White House of running an unprecedented pressure campaign against journalists, claiming they are pursuing a “particularly aggressive, well-organized” strategy “designed to have some kind of a chilling effect” on the American press.

Attkisson spoke with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz on Sunday about her early departure from CBS and her battles with the Obama administration for access to information. An investigative reporter who covered White House bugbears like Benghazi and Fast and Furious, she left CBS before her contract expired because she felt network executives inappropriately shot down her stories.

But in her conversation with Kurtz, Attkission made it clear that she ultimately blames the Obama administration itself for her bosses’ timidity.

“I think any journalist who has been covering Washington for a few years would agree… that there is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before,” she began.

“There have always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House — under any administration, I assume — when they don’t like a particular story,” she admitted. “But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration, and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized and designed to have sort of a chilling effect.”

“And to some degree,” she continued, “has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it. Why put on the controversial stories that we are going to have to fight people on when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers?”

The reporter claimed she and her bosses both received direct pushback from the White House, including phone calls and emails pressuring them to change or retract stories.

Newsbusters has more:

Kurtz asked how Attkisson feels about the charge of liberal bias leading to soft coverage of Obama. “The press in general seems to be very shy about challenging this administration, as if it’s making some sort of political statement, rather than just doing our job as watchdogs,” Attkisson said.

ATTKISSON: I didn’t run into that same kind of sentiment [at CBS] as I did in the Obama administration when I covered the Bush administration very aggressively, on its secrecy and lack of Freedom of Information responses, and its poor management of the Food and Drug Administration and the national laboratories, the Halliburton-Iraq questions of fraud. I mean, there was one thing after another. The bait-and-switch of TARP, the bank bailout program. All of those stories under Bush were met with a good reception. There were different managers as well, but no one accused me of being a mouthpiece for the liberals at that time.

I’m surprised that the communist Democrat Party would suppress freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press. Communists have never done that before in history, have they? They never put in place disastrous plans and then had to cover it all up by suppressing journalists. And they certainly never did it in the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam, and everywhere else communism’s been tried. Whenever government government gets really, really big, we should expect individual liberties to increase. Right?

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Republicans introduce bill to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder

Breitbart News reports.

Excerpt:

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) has introduced an Articles of Impeachment resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder for his role in Operation Fast and Furious and other scandals of President Barack Obama’s administration.

Seven congressman have signed onto the resolution thus far in addition to Olson. They are Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Phil Roe (R-TN), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Roger Williams (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Randy Weber (R-TX).

The Articles of Impeachment has four different sections. The first calls for Holder’s official removal because of his failure to comply with congressional subpoenas relating to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder has been voted on a bipartisan basis into both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with the Fast and Furious subpoenas from House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

The second section of the Articles of Impeachment deals with Holder’s refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The third section calls for Holder’s impeachment on the grounds that he has refused to prosecute any IRS officials involved in the “scandal of unauthorized disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors.”

The fourth section of the Articles of Impeachment goes after Holder for his involvement in the targeting of reporters. Holder testified under oath on May 15, 2013, the resolution states, that he “he was neither involved in nor had heard of a potential prosecution of the press.” Three days later, though, Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “released documents naming journalist James Rosen as a co-conspirator in an alleged violation of the Espionage Act.” Holder later confirmed to Congress that he had in fact “approved a search warrant on James Rosen.”

See the links below for a review of Holder’s many failures.

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Democrats try to block whistleblower’s Fast and Furious expose

Fox News reports on the latest Democrat cover-up scandal. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting “because it would have a negative impact on morale,” according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.

After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Two guns found at the murder scene were sold through the ATF operation.

Dodson’s book, titled “The Unarmed Truth,” provides the first inside account of how the federal government permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, despite evidence the guns killed innocent people.

Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon & Schuster, submitted his manuscript to the department for review, per federal rules. However, it was denied.

Greg Serres, an ATF ethics official, told Dodson that any of his supervisors at any level could disapprove outside employment “for any reason.”

[...]Dodson says “The Unarmed Truth” will come out in January, with or without the ATF’s permission.

I hope this book sells a lot of copies.

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CBS News reporter Sharyl Atkisson has had her computers broken into

Reported on the leftist Politico web site. (H/T Bad Blue)

Full text:

Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”

In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrusion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that the Justice Dept. had searched Rosen’s personal e-mails and tracked his visits to the State Dept. The court affadavit described Rosen as “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” of his government source, presumably because he had solicited classified information from that source — an argument that has been heavily criticized by other journalists.

Attkisson told WPHT that irregular activity on her computer was first identified in Feb. 2011, when she was reporting on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal and on the Obama administration’s green energy spending, which she said “the administration was very sensitive about.” Attkisson has also been a persistent investigator of the events surrounding last year’s attack in Benghazi, and its aftermath.

Normally reliable leftist Juan Williams is now saying that Obama has “CRIMINALIZED JOURNALISM“. (H/T Bad Blue)

Check it out:

STEVE DOOCY: A new twist in the federal government’s probe of American journalists. The Department of Justice wasn’t just targeting the Associated Press. Apparently it also went after Fox News reporter, our very own James Rosen. They tracked Rosen’s comings and goings and secretly obtained copies of his personal e-mail to build a case against one of his sources. Has the Department of Justice finally crossed a line? Joining us now, Fox News contributor Juan Williams. Good morning.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Good morning.

DOOCY: You know, it’s one thing to go after the leaker. It’s another to go after the reporter who gets the leaked information.

WILLIAMS: It really is. I think what you’ve got here is a situation where somehow now journalism has been criminalized, especially in this Rosen case. There is just no justification for somehow making out that the reporter who is trying to cultivate a source by doing so is a coconspirator in terms of a leaks investigation. I have never heard that before, never seen that before. It’s never been done before.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Well, I have a couple of questions for you, Juan. First of all, the judge had to sign off on this in seeing James Rosen as a criminal. That’s point one. Who’s the judge? Number two is how many other reporters are currently being followed with their comings and goings and their personal e-mail and their phone conversations?

WILLIAMS: Gretchen, I don’t know the answer to the first question about who is the judge. Clearly what the prosecutor and justice department did in signing off on the request for the subpoena was to support the idea that because Rosen had encouraged Stephen Kim, the state department official, to confess or to reveal information about the North Korean nuclear program, he was in a sense a coconspirator, and on that basis then they went after James Rosen’s correspondence, e-mails, his comings and goings. They tracked his badge as he went in and out of the State Department and also phone records, you know, cell phone records and that kind of treatment of a reporter who is certainly doing journalism. I want to emphasize that; that’s the craft we practice. It makes it difficult for journalists to do business. How do you do journalism if you are treated as a criminal for asking for information? 

And more:

DOOCY: The thing about this is the fact that this administration, this president hates leaks, and now, given what’s happening, a lot of people are going to clam up, and they are simply not going to tell the story that needs to get out.

WILLIAMS: That’s the thing. You know, it’s one thing to go after legitimate leaks that endanger national security. It’s another thing to say somebody reporting a story — and I don’t think the story had any grave national security implications — is a criminal. The second thing is to specifically target the reporter and the organization, even though he wasn’t charged with any crime, the idea that he is listed as a co-conspirator is chilling to people who would leak and to reporters who pursue stories in Washington. 

Is this a small scandal? Well, people today are typically more interested in things like TV and movies and music. They’re not paying attention and they just trust Obama to do the right thing, because that’s what they learned in government-run schools: big government good, liberty bad. But for anyone who cares about the Big Picture and the American Experiment, the actions of the Obama administration constitute a serious threat to the core of the Republic.

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