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Saturday, September 27, 2014

What do they fear? What are they hiding? Why?

Info control, cover up, secrecy, intimidation – further grounds for impeachment
Excerpts, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

Secret government

At government hearings, journalists are blinded. They cannot follow what’s happening. They don’t know what prosecutors are asking for or what defense attorneys are arguing – because they are denied “most court filings in real time” – even of prep or background material that is not classified. Under the current U.S. administration “information about Guantanamo is now kept secret. The U.S. military refuses to release the number of prisoners on hunger strike or the number of assaults on guards. Photo and video coverage is virtually nonexistent,” according to an Associated Press journalist. 

Suppression and intimidation

“Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.” The government routinely intimidates sources. The Associated Press’s “transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired – even if they just give out facts about safety.”

Blocking information
FOIA breached

“Requests for information under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) have become slow and expensive. Many federal agencies simply do not respond at all in a timely manner, forcing news organizations to sue each time to force action.”  One of the media and public’s most important legal tools, FOIA, “is under siege.”


Political appointees spying on press
FOIA abused
  
The administration uses FOIAs as a tip service to uncover what news organizations are pursuing. Requests are now routinely forwarded to political appointees. At the agency that oversees the new health care law, for example, political appointees now handle the FOIA requests.


Domestic stalking, cover-up

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, a federal law enforcement agency, “has directed local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology the police departments use to sweep up cellular phone data. In some cases, federal officials have formally intervened in state open-records cases, arguing for secrecy.” The Obama administration “is trying to control the information that state and local officials can give out.”

Related News 

 
Chief Law breaker never fit for Justice

Even before his confirmation it was clear that he was unsuited for the purpose of leading U.S. law enforcement, National Review editors writing in a September 26, 2014, post following the announcement of another gradual departure from the Obama government.   “In an administration characterized by outsized misadventures,” the editors write. “… Eric Holder managed to make his Justice Department a source of special, nay, historic attention,” the editors write. “Holder was the first U.S. Attorney General the House of Representatives held in contempt of Congress (June 2012).

Partisanship

No previous USAG exhibited Holder’s “sheer contempt for the rule of law…: his preference for employing the law for political purposes or, when necessary, dispensing with [exempting from] the law completely.

“…The duty of the attorney general historically has been to advise against unconstitutional or illegal activity. Holder instead regularly aided and abetted it [illegal activity, breach of the Constitution of the United States].

“When the president unilaterally delayed deportations for a select group of illegal immigrants, Holder concocted specious legal rationales to justify it. …”

Identity Posturing

“…Holder’s rank partisanship” was displayed “on issues of race” as in “his refusal to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation — despite video evidence of truncheon-wielding men warding voters away from a Philadelphia polling station in November 2008. Those whose political expression was inhibited in Philadelphia were not, Holder later suggested to the [U.S.] House Oversight Committee, ‘my people’ — and thus apparently did not deserve the protection of the law, this from the lips of the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer.” 

At the same time, Attorney General Eric Holder “dismissed his critics as racists, eager to destroy him and [U.S. President Obama] because ‘we’re both African American.’ This same ‘nation of cowards’ was, by Holder’s reckoning, responsible for the voter-identification laws that his Justice Department has worked stridently — and largely unsuccessfully — to suppress in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.…

Breach of law

“…In May 2013, [the Holder-Obama] Justice Department seized the phone records of twenty Associated Press reporters. James Rosen of Fox News revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice “had monitored his phone calls and e-mails.”

In their conclusion the National Review editors declare that “the end of Holder’s death grip on law enforcement at the federal level is long overdue.” Looking forward they hope for a U.S. Department of Justice that delivers “actual justice.”


Sources and notes

“8 ways the Obama administration is blocking information” posted on 09/19/2014 by Erin Madigan White, http://blog.ap.org/2014/09/19/8-ways-the-obama-administration-is-blocking-information/

“The fight for access to public information has never been harder, Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee said recently at a joint meeting of the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the Associated Press Photo Managers.”

“Journalists criticize White House for ‘secrecy’” AP editors, NYT reporter criticize Obama administration on access, transparency issues, Associated Press by Michael Tarm, Associated Press, September 17, 2014 9:10 PM, http://news.yahoo.com/journalists-criticize-white-house-secrecy-002418926.html;_ylt=AwrBEiISAidU8W0AAA3QtDMD

Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee

Sally Buzbee has served as Middle East editor for the AP based in Cairo, Egypt, running a region of 11 bureaus in 16 countries. IN the position she supervised Iraq war coverage, Israeli conflicts with Hezbollah and Hamas, the Darfur crisis and the growing activities of terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Before Cairo, she was assistant bureau chief supervising foreign affairs coverage in the AP’s Washington bureau; and covered education, politics and economics in Washington and supervised various coverage areas as a news editor. Before her current position, she was deputy managing editor of The Associated Press in charge of creating and building the news cooperative’s News Center, a new global headquarters operation based in New York. Buzbee ‘s AP tenure began in Topeka, Kansas (1988), then  correspondent in San Diego before moving to Washington, D.C. (1995). Her credentials were taken at the University of Kansas and Georgetown University.

“Eric Holder’s Rap Sheet” by The Editors, National Review Online, September 26, 2014 10:30 AM, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388913/eric-holders-rap-sheet-editors



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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent books in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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