The AP Spying Story: What You Aren’t Being Told

05/29/20139 Comments

by James Corbett
BoilingFrogsPost.com
May 28, 2013

In recent weeks we have been told to focus on a series of scandals which, we are told, are rocking the Obama Administration. Has the media finally found outrage over the Obama regime’s use of drone strikes to kill scores of innocent women and children in countries that are not even at war with the United States? Or the DOJ’s recent admission that the strikes had indeed killed American citizens? Or John Kerry’s recent attempts to once again lead the American public into supporting military intervention in the Middle East based on provably false claims of WMD?

Of course not. No, the media’s sudden discovery of outrage is directed at an entirely different scandal: the fact that reporters have now allegedly found themselves in the government’s crosshairs.

To add fuel to the fire of this current controversy, it has recently been revealed that Fox News reporter James Rosen has been under investigation by the Justice Department as a possible co-conspirator in a case involving leaked State Department information on North Korean nuclear tests. Particularly galling is the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder personally signed off on the investigation and is now being charged with leading the investigation into the investigation.

The story has given the media a chance to mention a point that we have been painstakingly documenting for years here at BoilingFrogsPost.com, namely that the Obama administration is the worst in the history of the United States when it comes to pursuing investigations into government whistleblowers, with more whistleblower prosecutions under the Obama DOJ’s belt than all other presidencies in the history of the country combined. Sadly, though, most of the media’s faux outrage over these scandals has been used to shift the debate once again to how special journalists are, and how this scandal is worthy of outrage, more so than all of the other atrocious abuses of civil liberties that have taken place in the Obama era, apparently.

It is especially ironic, then, that at almost the exact same time that the media was wringing their hands over their own privileged status as special citizens of the United States who deserve extra protections from governmental intrusion, a story millions of times wider in scope was accidentally broken during a live CNN interview with former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente, and then almost immediately forgotten.

Where is the outrage over this admission? Where are the scores of journalists lining up to demand answers and calling for the heads of the government officials who are clearly involved in the complete abrogation of the 4th Amendment right to freedom from unlawful search and seizure of all Americans’ information, not just the special journalist class?

Of course there is no outrage over an admission like this. Partially, this is because this story comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who has been following the actual story of government electronic survellance over the last 19 years. Not only has the admission that the American intelligence establishment is spying on all communications of all citizens in the US been documented for years—including here at the Eyeopener where we specifically covered this very topic last month—but in fact this very level of surveillance has been hardwired into law since the passage of the Communications Assistance for Law Enfocement Act of 1994, or CALEA. That this level of surveillance has been mandated by statute for 19 years is not conjecture or “conspiracy theory.” When contacted by The Huffington Post about Clemente’s recent admission, FBI Public Affairs spokesman Christopher M. Allen specifically referred to the Congressional testimony of FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni citing the act as the legal framework for such surveillance.

Again, there is nothing essentially new in this recent testimony of Clemente, which only further affirms what NSA whistleblowers have been telling us for years about the capabilities of government agencies to spy on the public.

When faced with this blatant double standard—collection of reporters’ phone records is national news worthy of 24/7 coverage while the collection of all communications of every single citizen barely rates a mention in the news cycle—there is only one possible conclusion: the “outrage” over the AP spying and Fox News spying scandals is contrived, and is designed only to hardwire the wholesale surveillance of the public even further into law.

To see precisely how this is accomplished, one need only look at a recent conversation on “Morning Joe” where Carl Bernstein—the revered reporter who, along with his ex-Naval Intelligence partner Bob Woodward, was allowed to break the Watergate scandal—goes out of his way to stress that there is “statutory authority” for this type of spying.

And with that rhetorical sleight of hand, the issue of constitutional authority has been sidestepped and “statutory authority” has now been inserted into the debate. The next step is simply to provide another statutory solution to the scandal, one that, while appearing to solve the problem, can in fact be booby-trapped to specifically allow the types of abuses that it was designed to “prevent” in the first place.

This is how the scandal game works between the federal government and the lapdog media. The media tells us what to be outraged about, and sets the ball in motion for a political solution that will be provided by the very criminals who caused the outrage in the first place. Once the task of moving the ball further down the court has been accomplished, the media can safely move back to breathlessly reporting on the latest antics of Justin Bieber or the latest gossip about Amanda Bynes, content in the knowledge that the public will have forgotten what they were supposed to be angry about in the first place. After all, it never directly affected them anyway, did it?

It is only when we stop allowing the media to direct our outrage at pre-arranged targets, and stop allowing the Washington criminals to provide their phoney solutions, that we will ever have a chance at moving toward the delegitimization—and, ultimately, the dismantling—of the criminal agencies of the criminal government that are responsible for all of the real criminal outrages—including the collection of everyone’s electronic communications—that continue to take place.

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