Monday, May 13, 2013

U.S. DOJ Secretly Seized Phone Line Records Of 100 AP Employees

The Associated Press Washington Bureau secretly targeted by U.S. Department of Justice for reporting Yemen bombing plot before it was made public last year.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. - On Monday, another scandal broke involving the Obama administration after the Associated Press (AP) learned from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had secretly seized phone line records from 20 lines used by reporters and editors. The DOJ seized the phone records, especially from six reporters, Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Kimberly Dozier, Eleen Sullivan, Alan Fram and their editor Ted Brisdis, in an effort to learn who leaked last year's al-Queda Yemen bomb plot that was stopped by the CIA before it was placed in a U.S. bound airplane. The Yemen bomb plot information was made public on May 7, 2012 before the information was released by the Obama administration. 
The records seized were from April to May 2012, according to the AP.
On Monday, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt sent a letter of protest to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for seizing those records that involved more than 100 AP employee phone records. Pruitt also demanded for the return of the phone records and destruction of all records.
Pruitt stated, "There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know."
Last Friday, Ronald Machen, the U.S. Attorney in Washington notified AP that it had seized phone call records from the companies that provide phone services to AP. Machen didn't explain, why they were seized and if Holder approved the seizure. 

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