IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

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Heisenberg
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IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:23 pm UTC

Washington remains mired in the Three Scandals.

Benghazi's mostly over, as America doesn't seem to care that the Obama administration knew the attack that killed our Ambassador was a planned terror plot, but chose to mislead the public and tell them it was a random mob that just happened to attack the US on 9/11.

The IRS thing keeps going deeper and deeper, with the employees insisting that they got direction to discriminate against conservative groups from "Washington" without naming names.

But the worst of the three scandals is the Justice Department's secret subpoena of phone records from 20 different phones used by the Associated Press. Apart from being a gross violation of the Freedom of the Press laid out in the Bill of Rights, this is likely to have a chilling effect on whistleblowers and would-be-anonymous tippers everywhere. In addition, it appears to have significatly soured the media's portrayal of the President and his policies, as I can't turn on the damn TV without seeing these scandals everywhere.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Mordus » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:46 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:In addition, it appears to have significatly soured the media's portrayal of the President and his policies, as I can't turn on the damn TV without seeing these scandals everywhere.


My work has news channels up 24/7 (at least three of them) and beyond Fox I've seen other major news networks making sure to not report anything about these at all. Maybe it's a time of day thing? Not sure.

From a reality standpoint some of this is absolutely deplorable depending on how true it all is.

From a political standpoint it's nothing. Obama is an amazing politician and has an amazing knack of making people not look at the man behind the curtain. Combine that with the fact that it's so early in the term and people (in general) have such short memories that it will change nothing in the next election. Die hard Democrats will still vote Democrat no matter what. Die hard Republicans will still vote Republican no matter what. The vast majority of undecided voters aren't going to care what kind of damage was done three years ago. They are going to look at the past 6 months, if that. Most are only going to care who is more charismatic and can make the better promises they never intend to keep.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:39 pm UTC

Oh, it's a big deal. Benghazi has, politically speaking, mostly run it's course. Hillary fell on the sword for that one, and frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that. Her department, and people died due to a lapse. Poor performance of an agency reflects poorly on it's leader. One could argue that others also share blame, but State Dept is definitely front and center on this one. Of course, after the leader resigns, there's only so much more you can expect as a result. If someone was particularly to blame, they might get sacked, but that's unlikely to have any broader political repercussions.

That, by itself, would not cause Obama any great worry. However, the trio of major scandals, all in different areas, all by different agencies, suggests a pattern of problems. You can only have so many political appointees admit wrongdoing before it calls the judgement of the appointer into question. Cmon, who among us didn't question McCain's judgement in picking Palin as she attempted to fit all the world's feet into her mouth? Part of it's the timing too...people do eventually forget about scandals, but a bunch close together draws more attention than the same ones paced slower would.

So, the IRS scandal. Yeah...a less sympathetic agency is hard to imagine. Even when they're being efficient, nobody really likes the IRS. We accept that it's a necessary part of government, but it doesn't usually bring happy thoughts to mind. Furthermore, a reputation for being fairly unforgiving of the lapses on the part of the taxpayer tends to make the taxpayer feel rather unforgiving of their mistakes. Would the agency be kind if we were as slow and unhelpful with responding to an audit? I think not. The allegations were significantly over the top enough that I, like many people, honestly thought it was conspiracy theory talk and partisan nonsense for quite a while. Turns out, not only was it entirely true and confirmed, we have senior folks on the record as lying about it, or at least, being very dishonest about it, and the head of the agency resigning.

Lastly, we've got the AG thing. Holder has always been kind of dodgy, and was implicated in Fast and Furious, so he's got kind of a lack of friends to start with. Now, he got caught pretty much red handed lying under oath to deny his involvement in this. The lying will do him no favors, and while F&F was investigated mostly by republicans...this one is much more bipartisan. Even the most liberal of news outlets is going to be worried about freedom of press issues, so both sides are going to be pretty concerned about this. I expect that if he isn't sacked/resigns, it'll blow up. Sure, the justice department may be reluctant to go after their boss, but it reflects really poorly on Obama if he ignores the issue or defends someone so obviously guilty. So, Holder's got to go. It's the only logical move for damage control from Obama's perspective.

Even so, he still has the issue of perception that his administration isn't doing a great job. Perception matters for a lot in politics. It reflects on his party, it reflects on how people receive grand ideas he proposes, and so forth. It'll do his party no favors in 2014, and it hurts his ability to focus on domestic policy changes like he wants. We're not gonna see a 2nd term equivalent of The Affordable Care Act.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:18 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Benghazi's mostly over, as America doesn't seem to care that the Obama administration knew the attack that killed our Ambassador was a planned terror plot, but chose to mislead the public and tell them it was a random mob that just happened to attack the US on 9/11.

Or maybe most Americans don't take every theory from Newsmax or Fox News as gospel. Speaking of which,
Tyndmyr wrote:Now, he got caught pretty much red handed lying under oath to deny his involvement in this.

Horseshit.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:43 am UTC

Uh, that's not an unrelated thing at all. It's the exact same point. Saying "oh, he was talking about prosecutorial discretion" is like describing nixon as "talking about presidential powers".

Saying "I would never do that", when you just did it, is a lie by any standards, even if it's not phrased as "I didn't do that".

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:04 am UTC

He said he did not consider prosecuting a journalist. Do you have evidence that he did consider prosecuting a journalist, apart from the misinformed theory discredited in the post I linked?
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:24 am UTC

Well, there's the part where he claimed he recused himself from the AP case. That was prior to them finding his name on the warrant affidavit. That would seem to be open and shut in itself, would it not? Recused people are not actively involved in the case...that's the entire point of it. Of course, given the lack of actual evidence for the recusal, it seems entirely plausible that this was nothing more than an easy out for Holder.

And of course, the affidavit itself alleges that they had probable cause that the reporter in question was in violation of the Espionage Act. Yes, not every investigation ends in prosecution, but prosecution is the purpose of investigations. If they needed the reporters records, but had no intention of prosecuting the reporter, why not work with the AP on it? And why the sweeping grab of so many reporters records?

Put simply, Holder does not offer any reasonably realistic narrative for why events happened the way they did. The easier conclusion is that Holder got caught lying his ass off because he didn't want to bring up the issue.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:36 am UTC

What are you babbling about? Rosen is not an AP reporter. There are two separate "controversies" regarding search warrants. One warrant targeted AP reporters, and Holder recused himself from that case because that investigation targeted a leak that he himself could have made. The other warrant targeted James Rosen, who works for Fox News. Holder did not recuse himself from that case, so it was entirely appropriate for him to sign an affidavit there.

Edit to add: The claim that Holder signed the Rosen affidavit, even if material, would also be false. That affidavit, which can be found here, was signed by Reginald Reyes.

Tyndmyr wrote:And of course, the affidavit itself alleges that they had probable cause that the reporter in question was in violation of the Espionage Act. Yes, not every investigation ends in prosecution, but prosecution is the purpose of investigations.

Right. There's a good chance they intend to prosecute whichever official promised to keep secrets in order to obtain a security clearance and then violated his or her oath. But not every person mentioned in the course of seeking a warrant is a target for prosecution.
Last edited by TheGrammarBolshevik on Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:41 am UTC

First: Benghazi never was a scandal. Diplomats / Ambassadors have a dangerous job, and while its unfortunate that we lost one to Al Queda, it is understandable that the administration was confused for a week.

Proof is in the pudding:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactions_ ... of_Muslims

Image

Above is the list of Muslim protests that took place around the week of September 11, 2012. ONE of these protests were violent and ended in Christopher Stevens's death. Al Queda happened to strike during a time of confusion: when the rest of the world was protesting a crappy movie made by some asshole. Of course it'd be confusing and take a while to figure out the whole story.

Second: The AP thing makes sense to me. For those who don't know, here's the actual article: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/was ... 54811054/1

And a quote from the article you listed in your own post...

The Justice Department notified AP on Friday that records had been subpoenaed from telephone companies several months ago. The subpoenas covered a two-month period around the time AP wrote the story about an alleged conspiracy to detonate an underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner. The plot was foiled early on because the alleged bomber was a mole for a foreign intelligence service working against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to officials familiar with the case.


Is seems like the mole in Al Queda who reported and foiled the plot, was not yet safe when the AP decided to publish the story. By publishing the story too early, the AP put the CIA operative unnecessarily at risk. This is on top of leak after leak after leak within the Obama administration, and Obama is rightfully pissed off at the inability for the CIA to keep its damn mouth shut.

Furthermore, I doubt that the subpoena is targeting the AP, but it looks to me to be targeting who the AP talked with... and there is likely a criminal case in regards to the leaker. If the Justice Department reaches too far, we already have a system to punish them. (the Exclusionary Rule), so I don't really see what the big deal is. No harm, no foul basically, because the Justice Department won't be able to use any of that evidence if it is deemed illegal in court. That said, I bet to you that the information collected in that subpoena isn't that "private" anyway. (I don't think phone companies make the habit of recording everything you say... although someone more familiar with that subject can correct me if I'm wrong. At best, there is probably only "fact of" calls that happened. IE: Someone called the AP on May 1st from X phone number. Not necessarily the conversation. That is likely the material that the subpoena covers... and all the information that the Justice Department desires)

Third: I got nothing on the IRS Discrimination case. It is ridiculous and that is the true scandal that we all should be ashamed about.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:12 am UTC

Seeing this, the FBI's gag order on Google, the drones, Libya, the never-attempted closure of Gitmo, NDAA, re-signing the Patriot Act, etc., etc., and those among the American Left defending each of these, one has to wonder when exactly did the anti-war, anti-surveillance, pro-civil liberties leftists I actually admired disappear and get replaced by fascists. Not that the Right is/was any better. Pretty much the only difference between them is a palette swap, health care, and guns.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:56 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:First: Benghazi never was a scandal. Diplomats / Ambassadors have a dangerous job, and while its unfortunate that we lost one to Al Queda, it is understandable that the administration was confused for a week.


Sure it was. Security was terrible. Several people died, not just the diplomat, and it happened because the embassy, which is legally US soil, was breached. That's a Casus belli. It's kind of a big deal. Plus, nobody even started coming to help them during the duration of the seven hour conflict.

Proof is in the pudding:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactions_ ... of_Muslims

Image

Above is the list of Muslim protests that took place around the week of September 11, 2012. ONE of these protests were violent and ended in Christopher Stevens's death. Al Queda happened to strike during a time of confusion: when the rest of the world was protesting a crappy movie made by some asshole. Of course it'd be confusing and take a while to figure out the whole story.


Nonsense. The reluctance to call it terrorism was only a political move. Even if it HAD been a spontanious demonstration that turned into multiple murders...that doesn't prevent it from being terrorism. Planning is not required for an act to be terrorism.

And, more obviously, spontaneous riots do not usually have mortar teams on hand.

And a quote from the article you listed in your own post...

The Justice Department notified AP on Friday that records had been subpoenaed from telephone companies several months ago. The subpoenas covered a two-month period around the time AP wrote the story about an alleged conspiracy to detonate an underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner. The plot was foiled early on because the alleged bomber was a mole for a foreign intelligence service working against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to officials familiar with the case.


Is seems like the mole in Al Queda who reported and foiled the plot, was not yet safe when the AP decided to publish the story. By publishing the story too early, the AP put the CIA operative unnecessarily at risk. This is on top of leak after leak after leak within the Obama administration, and Obama is rightfully pissed off at the inability for the CIA to keep its damn mouth shut.


Nobody is saying that the leak investigation shouldn't have happened. They're saying that a sweeping monitoring of records without prior notice severely impinges on freedom of the press, which I agree with. It's a matter of how the leak is investigated.

As for the 2010 affidavit, it looks like it's being slightly mis-reported. http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/23/18451142-doj-confirms-holder-okd-search-warrant-for-fox-news-reporters-emails?lite. In any case, he reportedly did OK the warrant personally, so he's still involved.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:06 pm UTC

Nonsense. The reluctance to call it terrorism was only a political move. Even if it HAD been a spontanious demonstration that turned into multiple murders...that doesn't prevent it from being terrorism. Planning is not required for an act to be terrorism.

You sound a lot like Romney as he got OWNED publicly on national TV.

Official Transcript / Video of the Rose Garden speech on 9/12/2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDANcaPx1xg

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

...

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.


If you read the full transcript and watch the full video, Obama never used the words "Spontaneous demonstration". He describes the event as an "Act of Terror".

How the hell is this a controversy?

EDIT: toned myself down a bit.

-------------

Nobody is saying that the leak investigation shouldn't have happened. They're saying that a sweeping monitoring of records without prior notice severely impinges on freedom of the press, which I agree with. It's a matter of how the leak is investigated.


Prior notice to an subpeona? The subpeona is the notice, and it happens after the fact. They can't "monitor" you from a subpeona, they can only try and collect information that occurred after the fact. Information that was already collected (and is expected by everybody) to be collected whenever you use a public telephone service.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Or maybe most Americans don't take every theory from Newsmax or Fox News as gospel.
Did you read the emails? The CIA provided talking points to the White House. The White House omitted the ones it thought made the administration look bad. They withheld information from the American people about a terrorist attack in order make themselves look better. I don't need Fox News to tell me that's fucking terrible.
Tyndmyr wrote:That's a Casus belli. It's kind of a big deal. Plus, nobody even started coming to help them during the duration of the seven hour conflict.

In fact, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya testified that the Special Forces team was ordered not to board the plane to help evacuate the Ambassador. It's unclear who made that decision, but the responsibility to keep those people safe was the domain of the State Department, and they died.
KnightExemplar wrote:At best, there is probably only "fact of" calls that happened. IE: Someone called the AP on May 1st from X phone number. Not necessarily the conversation.
That's still a huge issue. That lets the Justice Department, and anyone else who gets the records, identify people providing anonymous information to the Associated Press. When, say, a whistleblower starts an investigation into an unsafe fertilizer plant, the company doesn't care what was said, it just wants to identify who said it.
KnightExemplar wrote:Third: I got nothing on the IRS Discrimination case. It is ridiculous and that is the true scandal that we all should be ashamed about.
More questioning today, but the acting head (now that Lerner ran and hid) summed up his situation well yesterday:
Asked by House Financial Services and General Government subcommittee chairman Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) if he believes the IRS has betrayed the public's trust, Werfel answered, "I do, Mr. Chairman. I think that's why — thinking about this in terms of my primary mission — is to restore that trust,"

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:57 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Nonsense. The reluctance to call it terrorism was only a political move. Even if it HAD been a spontanious demonstration that turned into multiple murders...that doesn't prevent it from being terrorism. Planning is not required for an act to be terrorism.

You sound a lot like Romney as he got OWNED publicly on national TV.

Official Transcript / Video of the Rose Garden speech on 9/12/2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDANcaPx1xg

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

...

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.


If you read the full transcript and watch the full video, Obama never used the words "Spontaneous demonstration". He describes the event as an "Act of Terror".

How the hell is this a controversy?


Simple. He didn't refer to Benghazi as an act of terror. He mentioned terror when speaking in general terms. He then, for several weeks, explicitly dodged calling it what it was. Romney didn't get owned...Romney happened to be correct on that issue.

Now, for the sake of clarity...even if a rescue attempt had been mounted immediately, the ambassador would still have died. The timeline just wasn't friendly for saving him. Maybe others could have been saved, though, and in any case, you should be immediately trying to help your people.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:00 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:As for the 2010 affidavit, it looks like it's being slightly mis-reported. http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/23/18451142-doj-confirms-holder-okd-search-warrant-for-fox-news-reporters-emails?lite. In any case, he reportedly did OK the warrant personally, so he's still involved.

Which is fine, since only in some alternative fantasy universe did Holder say that he did not OK the warrant, or say anything inconsistent with his OKing the warrant.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:08 pm UTC

Fine if you're ok with the Justice Department obtaining search warrants and investigating journalists for doing their job. Which, you know, is not fine. "Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs." -Obama

Anyone involved in this, including Holder, should be fired.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:10 pm UTC

Simple. He didn't refer to Benghazi as an act of terror. He mentioned terror when speaking in general terms. He then, for several weeks, explicitly dodged calling it what it was. Romney didn't get owned...Romney happened to be correct on that issue.


I've provided transcripts and video proof of my argument. So far, all you've provided me baseless assertions.

If you're gonna turn this into a "he said / she said" debate, you better come prepared. So have at it. Where are your transcripts and video proof?

Fine if you're ok with the Justice Department obtaining search warrants and investigating journalists for doing their job. Which, you know, is not fine.


They aren't prosecuting journalists. They're looking for the leaker who dangerously put the Al Qeada mole at risk.

"Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs." -Obama


And Journalists aren't at legal risk at all right now.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

And the warrant is based upon the suspected criminality of....the reporter. Holder was not merely saying "I haven't prosecuted anyone yet", he was strongly disavowing even the potential of prosecution. Any reasonable person, seeing a warrant and an investigation would consider prosecution to be a possibility, depending on the strength of the evidence found.

When you take the oath, it's "the WHOLE truth..." which implies that weasel wording to dodge highly relevant information is not looked kindly upon. The question was about the act's impact on the press, and opting to investigate people on the basis of that act is highly relevant.

You're free to not consider that perjury if you wish, but any way you slice it, Holder is trying to dodge responsibility for very questionable actions.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:16 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:They're looking for the leaker who dangerously put the Al Qeada mole at risk.
Just to get our terms clear here. When you say "Al-Qaeda mole" you're referring to the alleged foreign intelligence agent who told some guys he was going to bomb America even though we all know that was clearly a lie he was being paid to tell by one of our allies. Right? That's the "alleged terrorist plot" that justifies any and all violations of our civil liberties?

Some Limey playing Bond does not trump the first amendment.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:19 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Simple. He didn't refer to Benghazi as an act of terror. He mentioned terror when speaking in general terms. He then, for several weeks, explicitly dodged calling it what it was. Romney didn't get owned...Romney happened to be correct on that issue.


I've provided transcripts and video proof of my argument. So far, all you've provided me baseless assertions.

If you're gonna turn this into a "he said / she said" debate, you better come prepared. So have at it. Where are your transcripts and video proof?


My source is your transcript. When he said "no acts of terror will ever shake (us), he is not specifically referencing Benghazi. The "..." replaces rather a lot of text.

No white house source for two weeks after referenced a terrorist act. Linking all of those would be really tedious. However, if you have a counterexample, you are welcome to show it.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:25 pm UTC

I'm fine with the Department of Justice investigating leaks of classified information. It is important that journalists be protected from chilling effects, which is why we have the Privacy Protection Act. The DoJ complied with the Privacy Protection Act. So what is your theory? That journalists should just be immune from involvement in any investigation?

Tyndmyr wrote:Any reasonable person, seeing a warrant and an investigation would consider prosecution to be a possibility, depending on the strength of the evidence found.

Manifestly untrue. A reasonable person familiar with warrant requirements under the PPA would have no reason to believe that Rosen was being considered as a target for prosecution.

Your suggestion that Rosen would have been prosecuted if there had been strong evidence that he broke the law is simply speculative.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:28 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:They're looking for the leaker who dangerously put the Al Qeada mole at risk.
Just to get our terms clear here. When you say "Al-Qaeda mole" you're referring to the alleged foreign intelligence agent who told some guys he was going to bomb America even though we all know that was clearly a lie he was being paid to tell by one of our allies. Right? That's the "alleged terrorist plot" that justifies any and all violations of our civil liberties?

Some Limey playing Bond does not trump the first amendment.


So what if the mole happened to be a dual-citizen British/Saudi ? There was a leak in the CIA that put his life at risk while he was doing his job, protecting America and its allies... especially when this man was one of the key people involved in stopping the Osama Bin Laden Anniversary attack by Al Qaeda.

First Amendment Rights are trumped by the safety of agents in the field. When speaking words can kill people, you better be damn responsible in what you say. Its utterly ridiculous that you're willing to risk the life of a non-American ally so that we can enjoy first Amendment rights a little bit more.

And again, the investigation is into the leakers. The Press is not getting prosecuted. The Justice Department is trying to find the leakers.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:39 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:First Amendment Rights are trumped by the safety of agents in the field.
No. Never.
KnightExemplar wrote:When speaking words can kill people, you better be damn responsible in what you say. Its utterly ridiculous that you're willing to risk the life of a non-American ally so that we can enjoy first Amendment rights a little bit more.
It's insane that you think I should be denied my rights because a civilian chose to put their own life in danger by going into the field.
KnightExemplar wrote:And again, the investigation is into the leakers. The Press is not getting investigated. The Justice Department is trying to find the leakers.
Incorrect. The Press is being investigated.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I'm fine with the Department of Justice investigating leaks of classified information.
So am I, within reason. Labeling a journalist a "criminal co-conspirator" for doing journalism, simply for the purposes of rifling through his personal emails is not reasonable and definitely will have the chilling effect you want to avoid.

This isn't a routine investigation, which is why it's being covered so extensively. The Obama administration went from cooperating with journalists and working with them to obtain information to steamrolling them and abusing the power of the justice department to take vast quantities of information (most of it not relevant to their case) without the journalists' knowledge.

This is a massive escalation in the rivalry between the administration and the media. And it is wholly inappropriate and should be stopped immediately.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:43 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Labeling a journalist a "criminal co-conspirator" for doing journalism, simply for the purposes of rifling through his personal emails is not reasonable and definitely will have the chilling effect you want to avoid.

What's your beef, exactly? Just the words "criminal co-conspirator"? If the affidavit just said "We believe [contrary to evidence] that James Rosen is innocent of any violation of the law but we would like to search his stuff," that would be OK with you? Somehow I doubt it. Perhaps you'd like to give us the non-slogan version of your accusation.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:51 pm UTC

It's insane that you think I should be denied my rights because a civilian chose to put their own life in danger by going into the field.


Fortunately, you're wrong on the issue legally. There was a clear and present danger in leaking the material. Your right to free speech stops when someone's life is put at risk.

But once again, journalists are not being prosecuted on this issue. They are simply being investigated.

So am I, within reason. Labeling a journalist a "criminal co-conspirator" for doing journalism, simply for the purposes of rifling through his personal emails is not reasonable and definitely will have the chilling effect you want to avoid.


BTW: you're talking about a different issue. That is the fox news investigation, not the AP investigation. I haven't looked too much into that one however.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Labeling a journalist a "criminal co-conspirator" for doing journalism, simply for the purposes of rifling through his personal emails is not reasonable and definitely will have the chilling effect you want to avoid.

What's your beef, exactly? Just the words "criminal co-conspirator"? If the affidavit just said "We believe [contrary to evidence] that James Rosen is innocent of any violation of the law but we would like to search his stuff," that would be OK with you? Somehow I doubt it. Perhaps you'd like to give us the non-slogan version of your accusation.


I figured out the confusion... we're talking about different issues.

There's the AP Investigation, which is what you and I are talking about... and Heisenberg seems to be talking about the Fox News investigation.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:10 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:But once again, journalists are not being prosecuted on this issue. They are simply being investigated.

THIS IS THE PROBLEM. If you aren't going to prosecute these journalists, because they've done nothing wrong and have only been doing journalism, then you don't get to investigate them. The Justice Department is not allowed to just take any information they want. If they were prosecuting journalists, that would be a legitimate reason to search their emails and phone records. They are not prosecuting journalists. They have no intention of prosecuting journalists. They're just taking all of their data and using it for their own purposes. That is not ok.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:What's your beef, exactly? Just the words "criminal co-conspirator"? If the affidavit just said "We believe [contrary to evidence] that James Rosen is innocent of any violation of the law but we would like to search his stuff," that would be OK with you? Somehow I doubt it. Perhaps you'd like to give us the non-slogan version of your accusation.
That would be great. If Holder went to a judge and said "OK, this guy has done nothing wrong, but I want to search through his emails. Also, he probably wouldn't like it if I did that, so I'm not going to tell him. Is that cool?" I would love that, because a good judge would say "No, you blithering idiot" and a bad judge would at least have been given the truth of the matter before handing Holder the keys to Pandora's Box. Instead, Holder hid his intentions from the judge, by labeling this reporter a criminal in the affidavit, despite not having any evidence or even suspicion that a crime had been committed. He was abusing the system to get information he shouldn't have access to.

Just read anything by any journalist if you want to know more.
Guardian wrote:Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage".
This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:30 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:There's the AP Investigation, which is what you and I are talking about... and Heisenberg seems to be talking about the Fox News investigation.

Yes, but you need to elide that distinction in order to accuse Holder of signing a warrant in the AP case. And, at the end of the day, what's more important: the facts, or defending the First Amendment from any threat real or imagined?

Heisenberg wrote:THIS IS THE PROBLEM. If you aren't going to prosecute these journalists, because they've done nothing wrong and have only been doing journalism, then you don't get to investigate them.

That's your own novel theory of right and wrong - only seek warrants against people whom you intend to prosecute - not the law.

Heisenberg wrote:That would be great. If Holder went to a judge and said "OK, this guy has done nothing wrong, but I want to search through his emails. Also, he probably wouldn't like it if I did that, so I'm not going to tell him. Is that cool?" I would love that, because a good judge would say "No, you blithering idiot" and a bad judge would at least have been given the truth of the matter before handing Holder the keys to Pandora's Box. Instead, Holder hid his intentions from the judge, by labeling this reporter a criminal in the affidavit, despite not having any evidence or even suspicion that a crime had been committed.

No, that's bull. There was probable cause to believe that Rosen violated the Espionage Act. This is detailed in the affidavit which you keep blathering about. Perhaps give it a skim?

Heisenberg wrote:Just read anything by any journalist if you want to know more.
Guardian wrote:Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage".
This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.

Neither quote supports the claim that Rosen did not violate the Espionage Act. At most, there's a claim that the probable cause claim was made under a "newfound theory." But it's apparent to me that what Rosen is said to have done is a very ordinary case of what is criminalized by the Espionage Act. It requires no newfound theory to say that it is also a violation of the Act when a reporter does it. To the contrary, the newfound theory would be to say that reporters are already immune from claims of probably cause simply in virtue of their being reporters. That is precisely why Holder said the law should be changed: because there is no basis in present law for the claims you are making.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:21 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Third: I got nothing on the IRS Discrimination case. It is ridiculous and that is the true scandal that we all should be ashamed about.
I don't understand why this is a scandal. These are the facts, as I understand them:

1 - A portion of the IRS is tasked with denying tax exemption status to political groups
2 - There was a new a political group that was quickly rising in popularity
3 - The IRS payed close attention to applications named after this new political party or applications using any of that party's slogans

If I had read about this scandal without the framing of it as a scandal, my response would be: "Huh, good on them for doing their job, concentrating their limited resources where it is most likely needed."
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:36 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:No, that's bull. There was probable cause to believe that Rosen violated the Espionage Act. This is detailed in the affidavit which you keep blathering about. Perhaps give it a skim?
Not according to the Washington Post. According to them, no journalist has ever been prosecuted for soliciting information like this, and it's not illegal to do so. If Holder thinks Rosen committed a crime and needs to be held accountable, he's bad at his job because (A) there was no crime and (B) Holder hasn't done anything to bring this "criminal" to justice.

Your evidence now seems to be "Holder was right because it says so in the paper Holder wrote."
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Neither quote supports the claim that Rosen did not violate the Espionage Act. At most, there's a claim that the probable cause claim was made under a "newfound theory." But it's apparent to me that what Rosen is said to have done is a very ordinary case of what is criminalized by the Espionage Act. It requires no newfound theory to say that it is also a violation of the Act when a reporter does it. To the contrary, the newfound theory would be to say that reporters are already immune from claims of probably cause simply in virtue of their being reporters. That is precisely why Holder said the law should be changed: because there is no basis in present law for the claims you are making.
Wikipedia wrote:The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of the press.
Any law that makes reporting a crime is not, in fact, a law at all.

Holder argued in the affidavit that reporting was a crime. It is not, and will not be until the Constitution is amended to support his position.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:56 pm UTC

That nobody has ever been prosecuted for this particular action does not mean that it is not illegal. It simply means that prosecutors have found it wise not to prosecute people for breaking the law in this way. That's precisely the point that Holder made in his Congressional testimony.

My argument is not that "Holder was right because it says so in the paper Holder wrote." My argument is that the affidavit (which, for those keeping tabs on reality, was not written by Holder) reasons soundly in its application of the Espionage Act. That affidavit and the reasoning it contains are public, and I linked it above, so you can see for yourself how the Act is applied. Your argument, on the other hand, is that the Washington Post agrees with you, coupled with the absurd claims that the Free Press Clause means that nothing anyone does in the course of journalism can be illegal and that "Holder argued ... that reporting [is] a crime."
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:16 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:My argument is that the affidavit (which, for those keeping tabs on reality, was approved by Holder) reasons soundly in its application of the Espionage Act.
It's obviously not sound reasoning if it directly contradicts the First Amendment, which Holder knows, and he's not prosecuting Rosen because he knows a judge would toss him out on his ear for claiming that journalism is illegal.

He deliberately used unsound reasoning to argue that journalism was a crime so he could spy on journalists. And he went through three judges before he found one to sign off on that ridiculous idea.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:25 pm UTC

OK. So in the previous post I labeled two claims "absurd," and your response is to repeat them. If you would like to provide an actual argument in favor of the view that the First Amendment makes it legal to solicit classified information or the view that Holder "argue[d] that journalism was a crime," go ahead.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:18 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:OK. So in the previous post I labeled two claims "absurd," and your response is to repeat them. If you would like to provide an actual argument in favor of the view that the First Amendment makes it legal to solicit classified information or the view that Holder "argue[d] that journalism was a crime," go ahead.


Where, exactly, is it a crime for US citizens to ask for information that happens to be classified? It is the responsibility of the holder of the classified information to protect it.

Hell, people without a clearance might not even know that data exists, or is classified. Merely asking a question should not be a crime.

And if your bar for bad stuff is "prosecution", then what about arrests? You can make an arrest without prosecution. Happens all the time, just like investigations. Sometimes, people get let go. Is it cool for people to be arrested for asking questions?

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:55 pm UTC

Ok, having read that affidavit, I have to say - Christ, that is some terrible behavior. And I don't mean by the investigating agents.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:08 pm UTC

18 USC 793 makes it a crime to release secret defense information. Subsection (g) makes it a crime to conspire in the same. Now, you're right that it should not be a crime to ask for some piece of information, not knowing that it is classified. But that is not what Rosen did, or at least not what Justice alleged in its affidavit. Instead, he was aware that the information he was receiving was classified, see item (g) in paragraph 39 of the affidavit. And, from the same paragraph, he solicited Kim to release the information and helped set up secret ways of doing this. That's illegal, just as soliciting and aiding someone to commit pretty much any other crime is illegal.

An important side note. I've spent a fair amount of time and effort in this thread researching leading questions and unsourced allegations that you and Heisenberg could easily have investigated for yourselves. For example, I've already linked the affidavit and explained that it outlines the case that Rosen broke the law. Further, it's been widely reported that the relevant section of the law is 18 USC 793, and I've mentioned in this thread more than once that the place to look is the Espionage Act. I would appreciate a basic effort to look for answers yourself before demanding that I find them for you.

Tyndmyr wrote:And if your bar for bad stuff is "prosecution", then what about arrests? You can make an arrest without prosecution. Happens all the time, just like investigations. Sometimes, people get let go. Is it cool for people to be arrested for asking questions?

No, and I never said that prosecution is the only inappropriate thing that law enforcement can do to a person. I don't know where you got that idea. What I did say is that for Holder to have perjured himself in saying that he was not involved in the potential prosecution of a journalist, he would actually have to have been involved in the potential prosecution of a journalist. Not involved in a search warrant sought and executed against a journalist in connection with the prosecution of a third party, not involved in claiming probable cause that a journalist broke the law, not involved in telling mean jokes about a journalist at a party.
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

Oh, it looks damned incriminating for the cleared fellow. Nobody is arguing that his actions were good. His explanations sound pretty damned weak, IMO. There is absolutely good reason to investigate him. No question. However, while the affidavit spends much time describing this fellows misdeeds, the reporter is the target. Can you not agree that it is at least a wee bit deceptive for Holder to go on at length about how he'd never consider even probable prosecution, when he's approved this? He's obviously not giving the full truth, but a statement tailored to give an impression that is misleading.

Additionally, it is overtly obvious that the reporter is not the person releasing the data. That's on the other guy. Conspiring? Asking for information is what reporters do. Even asking for classified information, sometimes. That's not conspiring, even if the leaker wants privacy. Hell, when would they not? Using this definition of conspiracy is remarkably, worryingly broad.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:34 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:However, while the affidavit spends much time describing this fellows misdeeds, the reporter is the target. Can you not agree that it is at least a wee bit deceptive for Holder to go on at length about how he'd never consider even probable prosecution, when he's approved this? He's obviously not giving the full truth, but a statement tailored to give an impression that is misleading.

What, specifically, is the misleading impression that Holder gives? That he's never been aware of a journalist committing a crime?

Additionally, it is overtly obvious that the reporter is not the person releasing the data. That's on the other guy. Conspiring? Asking for information is what reporters do. Even asking for classified information, sometimes. That's not conspiring, even if the leaker wants privacy. Hell, when would they not? Using this definition of conspiracy is remarkably, worryingly broad.

What do you think it would be called if I suggested that you rob a bank and provided you with masks and a getaway car for the purpose of robbing a bank? Conversely, what do you think is ordinarily required to prove a conspiracy charge?
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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby MartianInvader » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:59 pm UTC

I like how the accusation in this thread has gone from "commiting perjury" to being a "wee bit deceptive".
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby Arariel » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:First Amendment Rights are trumped by the safety of agents in the field. When speaking words can kill people, you better be damn responsible in what you say. Its utterly ridiculous that you're willing to risk the life of a non-American ally so that we can enjoy first Amendment rights a little bit more.


Freedom of speech: Only okay when the government says so, evidently.

Also, don't really give a shit bout this limey.

KnightExemplar wrote:Fortunately, you're wrong on the issue legally. There was a clear and present danger in leaking the material. Your right to free speech stops when someone's life is put at risk.


Evidently you don't read wrote:The First Amendment holding in Schenck was later overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969, which limited the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot). The test in Brandenburg is the current High Court jurisprudence on the ability of government to proscribe speech after that fact. Despite Schenck being limited, the phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" has since come to be known as synonymous with an action that the speaker believes goes beyond the rights guaranteed by free speech, reckless or malicious speech, or an action whose outcomes are blatantly obvious.


Not to mention, the condition must be falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre. Unless he was falsely naming an agent, you're wrong here.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:What do you think it would be called if I suggested that you rob a bank and provided you with masks and a getaway car for the purpose of robbing a bank? Conversely, what do you think is ordinarily required to prove a conspiracy charge?


So asking someone for information is on the level of planning a robbery?

I'd say this is more like asking someone to break an NDA. Which may be illegal for the person breaking it, but I don't believe so for the person asking (assuming this is some private-sector group's NDA).

At any rate, hardly immoral.

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Re: IRS Discrimination, AP logs, and Benghazi

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:48 am UTC

Did you read the affidavit? If accurate, he did rather more than merely "asking someone for information".


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