Many people have been wondering exactly what was the reason the Eric Holder DOJ used their power to peer into the Associated Press. Some water-carrying progressives have been claiming the “danger” to national security was so great, the overreaching self-approved subpoena to track 20 phone lines of 100+ reporters was excusable.
Not.Even.Close. As it turns out, the issue was one of the DOJ retaliating against the AP over the AP decision to ignore a White House request to withhold information for 24 hours just to benefit their ongoing narrative.
AP’s story about the foiled plot was at odds with the calming message the White House had been conveying on the eve of the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. (link)
As the Washington Post outlines; The DOJ tracking was retaliation for the AP not holding their story for an additional DAY:
WASHINGTON DC – For five days, reporters at the Associated Press had been sitting on a big scoop about a foiled al-Qaeda plot at the request of CIA officials. Then, in a hastily scheduled Monday morning meeting, the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day.
The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.
AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon. Its May 2012 report is now at the center of a controversial and broad seizure of phone records of AP reporters’ home, office and cellphone lines. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the unauthorized disclosure about an intelligence operation to stop al-Qaeda from detonating explosives aboard a U.S. airliner was among the most serious leaks he could remember, and justified secretly obtaining records from a handful of reporters and editors over a span of two months.
Now, some members of Congress and media advocates are questioning why the administration viewed the leak that led to the May 7 AP story as so grave.
The president’s top counterterrorism adviser at the time, John O. Brennan, had appeared on “Good Morning America” the following day to trumpet the successful operation. He said that because of the work of U.S. intelligence, the plot did not pose an active threat to the American public.
Holder said this week that the unauthorized disclosure “put the American people at risk.”
The White House and CIA declined to comment for this article. But former White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor, recalling the discussion in the administration last year, said officials were simply realistic in their response to AP’s story. They knew that if it were published, the White House would have to address it with an official, detailed statement.
“There was not some press conference planned to take credit for this,” Vietor said in an interview. “There was certainly an understanding [that] we’d have to mitigate and triage this and offer context for other reporters.”
AP’s story about the foiled plot was at odds with the calming message the White House had been conveying on the eve of the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. On April 30, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that there was “no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the US tied to the one-year anniversary of Bin Laden’s death.” (read more)
But then again, according to Eric Holder’s logic, he was unaware the decision to go after the AP even took place. Somehow he recused himself, but never told anyone, nor told the White House, and only held the recusal in his own mind…….. or something.