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I have defended this administration from every nonsensical charge made by the GOP that has been cooked in every meth lab bubbling up from south of the Mason-Dixon line. This constant culture of scandal mongering is not only abhorrent to me, it's bad for this nation.

With that said, I opened my browser this morning and went to Charlie Pierce's Politics Blog.
Those of you familiar with Charlie, know him by his writing to be a sane voice in a din of conventional wisdom.

So it was with some surprise when I read this morning's post on the DoJ that: .... in all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.

Follow below for Charles' take and my reluctant ascent.

Looks like the White House is throwing Holder under the bus regarding this.

Per AP:

The White House on Monday said that other than press reports it had no knowledge of Justice Department attempts to seek AP phone records. "We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department," spokesman Jay Carney said.
Here's Charlie:
That is all my arse. At the least, this was a counter-terrorism operation. (Why else would Brennan have been questioned already?). Which puts the whole business inside the White House. And you'd have to be a toddler or a fool to believe that Eric Holder could go off on his own and take as politically volatile a step as this. But, let us take the White House at its word. Eric Holder did this by himself. He should be gone. This moment. Not only is this constitutionally abhorrent, it is politically moronic. Nobody likes the press, I will grant you that, but the administration is soft if it thinks the public distrusts the press that much. And to have this genuinely chilling revelation emerge simultaneously with the Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! mummery and the IRS dumbassery is pretty much a full broadside below the water line of this administration's credibility. Good god, this is going to be one long-ass summer.
Well, as they say, this is. um...... this is bad.

Yep, if Holder was acting alone, he's got to go.
You see, this is why liberals like myself are far superior to conservatives I know. I call an illegal act an illegal act.

There is no grey area when it comes to the rule of law. In my estimation, the president should just cut his losses and get Holder out of there.

By demanding this, we stand on a higher pedestal and in a prouder posture than our conservative counter-parts.

This is inside the White House now and Holder has to pack his bags. No ambiguity.

Like Charlie said, "good god, this is going to be one long-ass summer."

8:22 AM PT: And yes, I'm aware that the president backed legislation designed to protect the AP from stuff like this and the GOP opposed it.
That doesn't change the fact that this occurred on his watch and apparently Holder's orders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not a coincidence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joeyess, peacestpete

    IMO, the pile-up of "scandals" is not just a coincidence that happens to make the President look bad. Although we haven't got the emails to prove it (yet?), it certainly looks like a planned pile-on, amplified by media ramp-ups, deliberately designed to knee-cap the President from now to 2014 and then 2016.

    That said, the President has taken actions or non-actions that leave his Administration vulnerable to these pile-ons. As Jackie Robinson knew all too well, when you know they're out to get you, you have to be super-good so as not to give anyone grounds for crying "scandal".

  •  Sigh. AP outed a CIA agent (11+ / 0-)

    and Congress wanted to know how/why, so Holder is investigating. He got the logs of the AP calls for that period and that is it using a warrant. No scandal. Breathe deeply.
    AP has been deeply Republican for many years now so perhaps the Republicans really didn't want to investigate the leak in hindsight.

    "We have cast our lot with something bigger than ourselves" - President Obama, July 30, 2010

    by Overseas on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:35:06 AM PDT

  •  Per your update: Hopefully that means the (4+ / 0-)

    President truly didn't know about this operation and should fire Holder post haste and be done with it. If he did know then his co-sponsoring of the bill was simply political dress up and he had better hope that Holder knows how to fall on his sword.

    •  Obama knew. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy
      There is no grey area when it comes to the rule of law. In my estimation, the president should just cut his losses and get Holder out of there.
      Mortgage Fraud. Bank Fraud. Too big to prosecute. Torture. Assassinating citizens including a minor. Criminalizing whistleblowing. Eric Holder? WTF would Eric Holder know about the rule of law other than to ignore it when Obama tells him to?

      Holder is Obama's lapdog, and there is no way this happened without Obama at least being aware of it.

  •  Please, Eric Holder, resign (5+ / 0-)

    Get somebody in there to go after Wal*Street and the banks, which are the largest organized crime syndicate the world has ever seen.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:42:44 AM PDT

    •  The problem I have with all of this (5+ / 0-)

      besides the obvious Constitutional violations to begin with--is the fact that given all Mr. Obama's other appointees in the last few years, he's liable to find someone worse than Holder.

      Yeah, that can't happen, she said...

      "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

      by lunachickie on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:56:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and add to that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, Nespolo, phonegery, 3goldens

        ReThug obstruction of nominees in the Senate and we might just end up without an AG

        •  and wouldn't that be enough to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens

          bring this nation to its knees, jurisprudentially-speaking?

          "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

          by lunachickie on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:03:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Amen, Amen, & Amen (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice, peacestpete

          All the progressves and liberals who were frustrated when Obama during his first term extended the Bush wiretapping order instead of ending it as he promised during his campaign speeches - are now up in arms over the the DOJ using it to snoop on the AP. These progressives with all their public outrage and anger at the AG are so short sighted  not to see that they are playing right into the Republican's hands.

          The Republicans would love to get Holder out of the DOJ SO THAT THEY COULD BLOCK ANY REPLACEMENT NOMINATION. This would leave Obama without any leadership at the DOJ , therby allowing the Republican VOTER OBSTRUCTION LAWS to be resurrected for the  2014 and 2016 elections. I think it's BILL CLINTON time over at the White House, cause my man Barack needs a quick political refresher for the rest of his lame duck.

          •  This assumes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth, 3goldens

            that we'll all sit back and keep letting those assholes obstruct the entire framework of government. Sooner or later, that's going to cease to be the operative norm.

            In the meantime, you don't let this blatant shit continue because of what those usurpers might do.  And you'll have to forgive me for thinking Mr. Clinton isn't the answer to any of this...

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:40:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  If you can tell me what law was broken (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, S F Hippie, Tony Situ

    I'll consider this diary worth the time I spent reading it and commenting.

    I hate the fact that our congress handed powers to the executive branch that it should never have been handed but they did and as a result what the AG did is perfectly legal and within the authority of his office.
    The "PRESS" deserves at least half the blame for the last 20 years of their ineptness which made this possible.

    http://dumpjoe.com/

    by ctkeith on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:48:54 AM PDT

  •  This is the only one of the 3... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, cassandracarolina, Nespolo

    "scandals" that bothers me at all. And I agree, Holder has to go now.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:50:33 AM PDT

  •  Eric Holder recused himself...he was not in charge (5+ / 0-)

    This investigation....According to early reports, the investigator actually interviewed holder as part of the leak investigation

    •  right (0+ / 0-)

      The US attorney has this one. No reason to dump Holder, even if somebody deserved it, which they don't.

      It's absurd that suddenly this is a big deal because it's the bleeping AP.  Nothing to make the press scream except having their own ox gored.  The whole media enterprise is sickly self-referential.

  •  Holder was deposed in the investigation (7+ / 0-)

    according to Michael Isikoff

    What`s not clear is Holder`s own role, because Holder testified  shortly thereafter that he himself had been interviewed for this  investigation, as that FBI Director Bob Muller and as we`ve since learned,  CIA Director John Brennan, because they all had prior knowledge of this --  of the matter that was -- the information that had been leaked.

    So it would be highly unusual for the attorney general to have been  interviewed in investigation and then play an active role. Earlier  tonight, I had -- earlier today, I had a Justice Department official tell  me that Holder had been recused in this investigation -- recused himself.

    I`ve been trying to confirm that all night with the Justice Department  and have not gotten a clear answer. I was told I would get one by the tile  the show has aired. I have not gotten it yet.

    So, it`s very unclear who exactly approved this. If Holder was  recused, the U.S. attorney could have approved this subpoena without  consulting the attorney general, or could have been another high-level  official, the acting deputy attorney general, head of the criminal  division. We don`t know yet who exactly approved it and we haven`t gotten  clear answers from the Justice Department tonight.

    <...>

    http://www.nbcnews.com/...


    Phone Records of Journalists Seized by U.S.

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE and LESLIE KAUFMAN

    <...>

    Republicans accused the administration of deliberately leaking classified information, jeopardizing national security in an effort to make Mr. Obama look tough in an election year — a charge the White House rejected. But some Democrats, too, said the leaking of sensitive information had gotten out of control.

    Mr. Holder’s move at the time was sharply criticized by Republicans as not going far enough. They wanted him to appoint an outside special counsel, and a Senate resolution calling for a special counsel was co-sponsored by 29 Republican senators.

    On Monday, however, after The A.P. disclosed the seizure of the records, some Republican leaders criticized the administration as going too far. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, said: “The First Amendment is first for a reason. If the Obama Administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”And Doug Heye, a spokesman for Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, linked the revelation to a brewing controversy over the targeting of Tea Party groups for greater scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, saying “these new revelations suggest a pattern of intimidation by the Obama administration.”

    The A.P. said Monday that it first learned of the seizure of the records last Friday afternoon when its general counsel, Laura Malone, received a letter from Mr. Machen, the United States attorney. The letter to Mr. Holder said the seizure included “all such records for, among other phone lines, an A.P. general phone number in New York City as well as A.P. bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Hartford, Connecticut, and at the House of Representatives.”

    <...>

    http://www.nytimes.com/...


    Under sweeping subpoenas, Justice Department obtained AP phone records in leak investigation

    By Sari Horwitz

    <...>

    The inquiry is one of two leak investigations ordered last June by Holder. The second involves a New York Times report about the Stuxnet computer worm, which was developed jointly by the United States and Israel to damage nuclear centrifuges at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment plant.

    The two leak inquiries were started after Republicans in Congress accused the Obama administration of orchestrating news stories intended to demonstrate the president’s toughness on terrorism and improve his chance for reelection. The Republicans sought a special prosecutor, but Holder instead named two veteran prosecutors to handle the inquiries.

    In the AP case, the news organization and its reporters and editors are not the likely targets of the investigation. Rather, the inquiry is probably aimed at current or former government officials who divulged classified information.

    But experts said the scope of the records secretly seized from the AP and its reporters goes beyond the known scale of previous leak probes.

    <...>

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Republican hypocrisy at the highest level. The media and Republicans have been hounding the administration about intentional leaks, and now they're upset that the administration is trying to get to the bottom of these leaks.
  •  If a GOP WH did this (9+ / 0-)

    we would be screaming for investigations into exactly how much the WH knew and whether there was contact between them and DOJ. To expect different because it is our team is just wrong.

    Personally I expect higher not equal standards from those that I support because standards is a large part of the reason that I support them.

  •  Why dump him now? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, he already became the first sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress some three scandals ago.

  •  I heard bill o'lielly say the WH got the proper (0+ / 0-)

    OK to get these records so since  o'lielly has publicly signed off there must not be a scandal here.  They undoubtedly will be moving on the next "scandal".  This is all part of a planned attack that I personally think the previous bush appointed IRS head had a part in before leaving.  They will continue doing this until the President's term is up or something sticks.  Washington is in a sad state right now.

  •  Maybe I don't understand the story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ

    But it seems like the AP outed the CIA's role in foiling a terrorist attack. The Justice Department wanted to find out who leaked the info to the AP (seeing how leaking classified info is, you know treason) and used powers GIVEN to them by Congress to find out who the leaker(s) were.

    Am I missing something here?

  •  My understanding is that Holder was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    recused from the investigation, which was being conducted by a US Attorney brought on to handle it BECAUSE Holder was recused.  Since he had recused himself from the investigation, he would have had no knowledge of what was being asked for, and would have had no supervisory role whatsoever.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:14:08 AM PDT

  •  Can't really cite rule of law on this, though (0+ / 0-)

    Evidently what was done in subpoenaing those phone records was,in fact, legal. Perhaps not "right", or "appropriate" - but by all reports it was legal.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:18:52 AM PDT

    •  all reports? (0+ / 0-)

      we still don't know if this was a real subpoena or a "national security letter."  So no, we don't have enough information to know whether this was legal or not.

      What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

      by happymisanthropy on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:40:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whether letter or subpoena (0+ / 0-)

        What would be illegal about either?

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Tue May 14, 2013 at 11:08:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  National security letter authority (0+ / 0-)

          is limited by law to particular circumstances, which this situation may or may not have met.

          see this and this.  For a counterterrorism case phone records are included, but investigating a leak falls under 50 USC § 436:

          Any authorized investigative agency may request from any financial agency, financial institution, or holding company, or from any consumer reporting agency, such financial records, other financial information, and consumer reports as may be necessary in order to conduct any authorized law enforcement investigation, counterintelligence inquiry, or security determination. Any authorized investigative agency may also request records maintained by any commercial entity within the United States pertaining to travel by an employee in the executive branch of Government outside the United States.
          I don't see anything about call logs.  But this case does illustrate why it's so important to push back against the attempts to treat leakers as though they were foreign spies.

          What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

          by happymisanthropy on Tue May 14, 2013 at 12:09:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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