Tag Archives: Associated Press

Update On Fake Sign Language Interpreter.

Yesterday I posted

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2013/12/11/fake-hand-sign-interpreter-at-mandela-memorial/

about this guy who slipped by all the worlds top security and apparently stood next to all the world leaders and , well..flapped his arms around. Today we get to meet the man who stood 3 feet from said leaders.

~Steve~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interpreter for Mandela event: I was hallucinating

Originally published December 11, 2013 at 5:47 AM | Page modified December 12, 2013 at 2:25 AM

The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial has told The Associated Press that he has schizophrenia, had visions of angels coming into the stadium and was trying not to panic because there were “armed policemen around me.” Thamsanqa Jantjie also said he has been violent in the past.

President Obama waves standing next to the sign language interpreter after making his speech at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday South Africa's deaf federation said on Wednesday that the interpreter on stage for Mandela memorial was a 'fake.'

President Obama waves standing next to the sign language interpreter after making his speech at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday South Africa’s deaf federation said on Wednesday that the interpreter on stage for Mandela memorial was a ‘fake.’

Jantjie, who stood gesticulating three-feet (1 meter) from U.S. President Barack Obama and others who spoke at the ceremony that was broadcast around the world, insists he was doing proper sign-language interpretation of the speeches of world leaders for the deaf correctly. He also apologized Thursday for his performance that has received unanimous condemnation from numerous sign-language experts who said he had been merely signing gibberish.

http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2022438684_apxmandelainterpreter.html

 

Fake Sign Language Interpreter At Mandela Memorial.

Now this is funny.

Sign language interpreter who stood next to Obama at Mandela memorial called a ‘fake’

Published December 11, 2013

FoxNews.com

A man who stood close to President Barack Obama and other heads of state while providing sign language interpretation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial Tuesday was a “fake” who was making up his own gestures, sign language experts say, raising questions about the security at the event.

“[He] was moving his hands around, but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for,” Bruno Druchen, the Deaf Federation of South Africa’s national director, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The country’s deaf community and the ruling African National Congress have no knowledge of who the man actually is, despite him appearing on television gesticulating alongside South African President Jacob Zuma last year, Reuters reported. Zuma’s office is trying to figure out the man’s identity.

“I don’t know this guy. He doesn’t work for the ANC. It was a government event. Ask them,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.

U.S. Secret Service Spokesman Brian Leary told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that the department is aware of the matter, but declined to elaborate.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing that he wasn’t aware of any security concerns with the man being near Obama.

“I think my only reaction to that is that it’s a shame that you had a service that was dedicated to honoring the life and celebrating the legacy of one of the great leaders of the 20th century, [and it] has gotten distracted by this and a few other issues that are far less important than the legacy of Nelson Mandela,” he said.

Druchen and three other sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages and could not have been signing in any other known sign language because there was no structure to his arm and hand movements. South African sign language covers all of the country’s 11 official languages, according to the federation.

“He didn’t follow any of the grammatical rules and structure of the language. He just invented his signs as he went along,” Delphin Hlungwane, an official South African sign language interpreter at DeafSA, told Reuters.

“There was zero percent accuracy. He couldn’t even get the basics right. He couldn’t even say thank you,” she added.

Ingrid Parkin, principal of the St. Vincent School for the Deaf in Johannesburg, said she’s received complaints from the deaf community from Canada to China about the man on stage and that his movements look “like he’s signing gibberish.” He also used no facial expression to convey the emotions of the leaders, a key element of sign language interpretation.

“This man himself knows he cannot sign and he had the guts to stand on an international stage and do that,” Parkin said.

The scandal over the interpreter is another indication of shoddy organization of the historic memorial service, which took place Tuesday at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other difficulties included public transportation breakdowns which hindered mourners from getting to the event and a faulty audio system that prevented many of the tens of thousands in the stadium from hearing the leaders’ speeches. In an apparent security failure, police did not search the first wave of crowds arriving at the stadium.

When the man appeared last year with Zuma, a deaf person in the audience videotaped the event and gave it to the federation for the deaf, which analyzed the video, prepared a report about it and a submitted a formal complaint to the ANC, Druchen said.

In their complaint, the federation suggested that the man should take the five years of training needed to become a qualified sign language interpreter in South Africa.

Druchen said a fresh complaint will be filed to the ANC about the interpreter he called a “fake” with a demand for an urgent meeting.

“It was horrible, an absolute circus, really, really bad,” Nicole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter who also watched the broadcast, told The Associated Press.

Bogus sign language interpreters are a problem in South Africa, because people who know a few signs try to pass themselves off as interpreters, Parkin said. And those hiring them usually don’t sign, so they have no idea that the people they are hiring cannot do the job, she said.

“They advertise themselves as interpreters because they know 10 signs and they can make some quick money,” said Parkin. “It is plain and simple abuse of the deaf community, they are taking advantage of the deaf community to make money.”

FoxNews.com’s Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

~Steve~

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/11/mandela-memorial-interpreter-deemed-fake/

US helps in fight between Christians and Muslims in Africa. Read between the lines.

HAGEL ORDERS AIRLIFT FOR CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

BY LOLITA C. BALDOR - ASSOCIATED PRESS

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the U.S. military to transport troops from Burundi into the Central African Republic to help quell the latest upsurge in violence there.

Hagel approved the order after speaking with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian Monday night from Afghanistan where he was visiting troops. Le Drian asked the U.S. to help get African troops quickly into the country to prevent the violence there from spreading, said Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog.

There are more than 1,000 French troops in the Central African Republic, where more than 400 people were killed in two days of violence last week between Christians and Muslims. Christian armed fighters oppose the Muslim ex-rebels now in charge of the former French colony… 

Story continues at: Associated Press

Notice the clever wording about who’s fighting who? Armed Christians fighting Muslim “ex-rebels now in charge“?

Hmmm… what might this tortured syntax tell us about who we’re actually supporting? Associated Press seems to be trying to avoid telling us that once again, American military assets are supporting jihadists in the removal of those pesky Christians. Also, they most certainly don’t want to tell us that the jihadists are doing so by the usual methods, like beheading children. In honor of AP’s double-talk, I’m posting Shrek’s Pinocchio at his lying best. ~ TD

I Know I Run Like A Girl. Try And Keep Up.

4 5 6 8 womans club2 womans club3 women 1

 

Happiness is always there within reach, no matter how long it lasts.  Let’s enjoy life and don’t live a complicated life.  Life is too short.  Work as if it was your first day.  Forgive as soon as possible.  Love without boundaries.  Laugh without control and never stop smiling.  Please pray for those suffering from cancer.  Keep this going .

pink ribbon gif

~Steve~                                                 H/T  hujonwi

Egyptian military chief vows to rebuild Coptic Churches

Wanna Bet Bubba the Butthead had Nada to do with this? Or could care less.?——————————————-

Published August 16, 2013

FoxNews.com
Aug. 15, 2013 - The damaged interior of the Saint Moussa Church after it was torched in sectarian violence following the dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins of supporters of the ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

Aug. 15, 2013 – The damaged interior of the Saint Moussa Church after it was torched in sectarian violence following the dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins of supporters of the ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

The Egyptian defense minister has ordered the repair and reconstruction of all churches that suffered damage in the country’s violent demonstrations since the Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power last month.

Defense minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi intends to fix the damage to Coptic churches at Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares, according to a report by the Mid-East Christian News.

Dozens of churches were attacked and burned in riots after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to demand the end of what they call military rule, following the removal of Morsi on July 3. Many of Morsi’s supporters have voiced criticism at Egypt’s Christian minority for largely supporting the military’s decision to oust him from office.

“The Egyptian defense minister ordered the engineering department of the armed forces to swiftly repair all the affected churches, in recognition of the historical and national role played by our Coptic brothers,” read a statement that aired on Egyptian television.

Bishop Mousa thanked Sisi for his efforts to repair the damaged churches.

“We thank Col. Gen. Sisi for commissioning the brave Egyptian armed forces to rebuild the places of worship damaged during the recent events,” Bishop Mousa said on Twitter.

17 deaths were reported Friday after several days of violence that caused more than 638 deaths and 4,000 injuries in clashes between Morsi supporters and Egyptian military forces.

The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic Christian youth movement, says there’s a “retaliation war” against the religious minority, which makes up around 10 percent of Egypt’s population, according to a report by AFP.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an Egyptian NGO, says at least 25 churches were torched this week, and attackers also targeted Christian schools, shops and homes across all 27 provinces.
The Associated Press and AFP contributed to this report. 
~Steve~

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/08/16/egyptian-military-chief-vows-to-rebuild-coptic-churches/#ixzz2c9zog1P8

 

 

3 reasons why the Osama bin Laden assassination story stinks

Something really really stinks about that Navy SEALS raid (and assassination) on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011.

Here are three big reasons why we can’t believe the story we’ve been told.

1. Obama regime’s story about the raid keeps changing:

(See “White House’s Osama Kill Story Keeps Changing,” May 5, 2011)

  • Was bin Laden armed or not?
  • Did he have a gun battle with the SEALS or not?
  • Was one of bin Laden’s wives killed in the raid or not?
  • Did Bin Laden use her as a human shield or not?
  • Who made the final decision to kill Bin Laden: Obama or the SEALS?
  • Was there a live video footage of the raid, or not? The most recent version from the White House was that there wasn’t. If there was no live feed, what were Obama and his White House team watching in this much-publicized Situation Room photo? (Not to mention the fact that graphic artist and author Mara Zebest had analyzed the image below and determined that it’s been “manipulated,” including the insertion of Obama into the image, which means he was never in that situation room!)

The White House captioned this “Situation Room of Osama bin Laden takedown”

2. The Pentagon said it had no records — not one photo, not one video, not even an e-mail — of bin Laden’s death:

(See “Pentagon has no records of Osama bin Laden’s death,” March 28, 2012.)

A year later, in March 2012, in response to repeated (more than 20!) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Associated Press for files about the raid, which the AP had submitted the day after bin Laden’s supposed assassination, the Pentagon told the AP:

  • It could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden’s body.
  • It could not find any images of bin Laden’s body on the Navy aircraft carrier where the al-Qaida leader’s body was taken.
  • It could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden’s body if he were killed.
  • It said it had searched files at the Pentagon, U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., and the Navy command in San Diego that controls the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier used in the mission, but could not find any emails about the bin Laden mission or his “Geronimo” code name that were sent or received in the year before the raid by William McRaven, the three-star admiral at the Joint Special Operations Command who organized and oversaw the mission.
  • The Pentagon said it also could not find any emails from other senior officers who would have been involved in the mission’s planning.

3. A year later, the Pentagon purged its computers of all files on the raid:

Given the Pentagon’s denial in March 2012 that it had NO, NOTHING, NADA, ZERO record of the bin Laden assassination, it is curious to say the least that on July 8, 2013, the AP reports that an order was given from a “top special operations commander” (Adm. William McRaven) to purge all military files about the Navy SEAL raid from Defense Department computers, and to send those files instead to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

Adm. William McRavenl to r: Admiral William McRaven; McRaven with POS

From the AP:

The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the Freedom of Information Act. 

An acknowledgement by Adm. William McRaven of his actions was quietly removed from the final version of an inspector general’s report published weeks ago. A spokesman for the admiral declined to comment.

The CIA, noting that the bin Laden mission was overseen by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta before he became defense secretary, said that the SEALs were effectively assigned to work temporarily for the CIA, which has presidential authority to conduct covert operations. 

“Documents related to the raid were handled in a manner consistent with the fact that the operation was conducted under the direction of the CIA director,” agency spokesman Preston Golson said in an emailed statement. “Records of a CIA operation such as the (bin Laden) raid, which were created during the conduct of the operation by persons acting under the authority of the CIA Director, are CIA records.” 

Golson said it is “absolutely false” that records were moved to the CIA to avoid the legal requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 

The records transfer was part of an effort by McRaven to protect the names of the personnel involved in the raid, according to the inspector general’s draft report. 

But secretly moving the records allowed the Pentagon to tell The Associated Press that it couldn’t find any documents inside the Defense Department that AP had requested more than two years ago, and could represent a new strategy for the U.S. government to shield even its most sensitive activities from public scrutiny. 

“Welcome to the shell game in place of open government,” said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a private research institute at George Washington University. “Guess which shell the records are under. If you guess the right shell, we might show them to you. It’s ridiculous.” 

McRaven’s directive sent the only copies of the military’s records about its daring raid to the CIA, which has special authority to prevent the release of “operational files” in ways that can’t effectively be challenged in federal court. The Defense Department can prevent the release of its own military files, too, citing risks to national security. But that can be contested in court, and a judge can compel the Pentagon to turn over non-sensitive portions of records. 

Under federal rules, transferring government records from one executive agency to another must be approved in writing by the National Archives and Records Administration. There are limited circumstances when prior approval is not required, such as when the records are moved between two components of the same executive department. The CIA and Special Operations Command are not part of the same department. 

The Archives was not aware of any request from the U.S. Special Operations Command to transfer its records to the CIA, spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said. She said it was the Archives’ understanding that the military records belonged to the CIA, so transferring them wouldn’t have required permission under U.S. rules. 

Special Operations Command also is required to comply with rules established by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that dictate how long records must be retained. Its July 2012 manual requires that records about military operations and planning are to be considered permanent and after 25 years, following a declassification review, transferred to the Archives. 

Also, the Federal Records Act would not permit agencies “to purge records just on a whim,” said Dan Metcalfe, who oversaw the U.S. government’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act as former director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy. “I don’t think there’s an exception allowing an agency to say, `Well, we didn’t destroy it. We just deleted it here after transmitting it over there.’ High-level officials ought to know better.” 

It was not immediately clear exactly which Defense Department records were purged and transferred, when it happened or under what authority, if any, they were sent to the CIA. No government agencies the AP contacted would discuss details of the transfer. The timing may be significant: The Freedom of Information Act generally applies to records under an agency’s control when a request for them is received. The AP asked for files about the mission in more than 20 separate requests, mostly submitted in May 2011 — several were sent a day after Obama announced that the world’s most wanted terrorist had been killed in a firefight. Obama has pledged to make his administration the most transparent in U.S. history. 

See also:

H/t FOTM’s beloved pnordman.

~Eowyn

Bradley Manning Trial Verdict: Acquitted of Aiding The Enemy, Convicted On Lesser Charges.

This Just Breaking…

Bradley Manning Acquitted of aiding the enemy.

2013-07-30T005625Z_1308571352_GM1E97U0OPL01_RTRMADP_3_USA-WIKILEAKS-MANNING

By JOSH GERSTEIN | 7/30/13 1:09 PM EDT

http://www.politico.com

FORT MEADE, Md. — A military judge Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge the Army intelligence analyst faced for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables.

Manning was convicted on nearly all of the lesser charges considered by the judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, in connection with the largest breach of classified material in U.S. history.

The suspense at the court martial session was limited because Manning previously pled guilty to 10 of the 22 counts he faced. Those charges carry a potential sentence of 20 years. The aiding-the-enemy charge can lead result in a sentence of up to life in prison or event to the death penalty, but the military did not seek capital punishment in Manning’s case.

If convicted on all charges apart from aiding the enemy, Manning faced a potential sentence of up to 154 years.

Manning did not dispute the fact that he sent WikiLeaks most of the material that led to the charges against him. However, his defense argued that some of the counts were legally flawed.

The Army intelligence analyst was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq at a forward operating base where he studied threats in a section of Baghdad. He’s been in custody since.

As soon as Wednesday, the court martial is expected to move into a sentencing phase. Prosecutors are expected to call witnesses demonstrating the harm caused by Manning’s disclosures, while the defense will seek to undercut that evidence and argue for leniency.

Lind ruled in January that Manning is entitled to a sentencing credit of nearly four months as a result of what she determined was unnecessarily harsh treatment the intelligence analysts received during his almost nine-month stay at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

Manning’s case is one of an unprecedented flurry of leak-related criminal prosecutions brought under the Obama administration. A total of seven such cases have been brought in the past four and a half years, more than double the number of such cases in all prior administrations combined.

The administration expressed no regret about its handling of the recent wave of cases until earlier this year, when extensive attention to the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and a search warrant for a Fox reporter’s emails in a leak investigation led to a review of longstanding guidelines for such probes.

After an internal review, Attorney General Eric Holder changed DOJ policies to make it more difficult to access journalists’ work materials in instances where they are not the target of an investigation.

However, the case against Manning was prosecuted in the military justice system, which is separate from the civilian courts.

~Steve~

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/bradley-manning-trial-verdict-94923.html#ixzz2aYEMg612

 

Zimmerman trial; Michael Savage is a Horse’s Patootie

Don't Know His Arse From His Elbow

Don’t Know His Arse From His Elbow

FOTM’S  poetpoet has brought to my attention that Savage has said that Zimmerman was “Guilty”. So I did a little checking and sure enough the schmuck does declare him guilty.

Ummm, well there are a couple of problems with his explanation. I will give you a link to an Audio File (About 3:00 Min) It’s Savages Reasoning. Then Below that is Transcript of part of 911 call and actual recording.

Savage says Zimmerman guilty

Savage says  “OK Sir, Stay in your car do not pursue him.” He says Zimm got out after being told to stay in. Read the transcript and listen to dispatcher tape.

This has been one of the biggest misunderstandings of whole case. He was out of car. He then called 911, they said “are you out of car and he said yes” They said “go back to car ” and Zimm says “OK”and he did. He did not stalk Martin.

Zimmerman 911 call transcript

Zimmerman: He’s running.

911 dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?

Zimmerman: Down toward the other entrance of the neighborhood.

911 dispatcher: OK, which entrance is that he’s headed towards?

Zimmerman: The back entrance. [Under his breath, ‘F-ing c**ns’]

911 dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah

911 dispatcher: OK. We don’t need you to do that.

Click here to listen to the segment of the 911 call

OH here is part of Fla. “Stand Your Ground Law”

776.012 Use of force in defense of person

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

~Steve~                                         H/T  FOTM’S  poetpoet

Missing Man Walks Up To News Crew Reporting On … Missing Man

You Just Have To Love Happy Endings. 

local television news crew reporting on a missing Maine man found him as they were about to shoot a live update near his home.

Timing is Everything. :lol:

Timing is Everything. :lol:

Robert McDonough, a 73-year-old who suffers from dementia, had been missing for more than 14 hours when he walked past the WMTW News 8 crew camped out on the side of his road in rural Limington.

News 8 reporter Norm Karkos was preparing to deliver a live report on “News 8 This Morning” early Tuesday when McDonough walked into the frame. Karkos did not immediately recognize McDonough, who then identified himself to the stunned TV crew. They notified the Maine Warden Service, which had been searching for McDonough since late Monday afternoon.

The game wardens said they were just about to ramp up their search for McDonough when he returned home.

The man appeared to be in good condition, although Karkos said he spotted “some blood on McDonough’s hand.”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/news-crew-reporting-missing-man-finds-him-during-144040400.html

~Steve~

Benghazi, I.R.S. And Now For Your Viewing Pleasure, Scandal # 3: The A.P.

well it seems our justice dept. run by none other THAN that rock star eric holder had decided to hijack about 20 phone lines belonging to ap. in April and may of 2012.      kind of funny now that ap has been the target the media is up in arms. For years while justice and the admin have abused the american public it seemed they could care less, Well anyway if this is what it takes to shine the light on the vermin so be it. Benghazi, i.r.s., a.p.               seems like 3 strikes YOU’RE out in the ole ball game.

holder

Politicians versus press: Attorney General Eric Holder held a press conference on Tuesday to address the story that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months worth of journalists phone records

—————————————————————————————————-

Eric Holder points finger at his DEPUTY who secretly obtained journalist’s phone records as Obama is forced to say he has ‘confidence’ in the Attorney General

  • Justice Department obtained records listing incoming and outgoing calls and duration of calls for more than 20 telephone lines used by journalists
  • Lines included the main number used by reporters in the House of Reps press gallery and general AP numbers in Washington and New York
  • Stems from AP article talking reporting a thwarted terror attack
  • Attorney General Eric Holder said he had recused himself from the investigation into the leak to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest
  • Said that his deputy made the decision to obtain the records

By ASSOCIATED PRESS and DAILY MAIL REPORTER

PUBLISHED: 13:40 EST, 14 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:55 EST, 14 May 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder went on the defensive on Tuesday explaining why the Justice Department secretly obtained two months worth of reporters’ telephone records in an ‘unprecedented’ search for a confidential source.

‘This was a very serious leak and a very, very serious leak,’ Holder said at a press conference explaining the department’s actions which have been criticized for going against the constitutional right to a free press.

Holder said that he recused himself from the making the controversial decision to subpoena the phone records of Associated Press journalists, saying that it was made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

He said that he was ‘confident that the people involved in this … followed all applicable Department of Justice regulations’ even though he claimed not to actually know the details of the decision-making process as a result of his recusal.

President Obama was forced to follow Holder’s press conference with the release of a statement saying that the incident does not shake his faith in his close friend and the country’s top legal adviser.    (Whoopsie)

‘The president has confidence in the attorney general,’ press secretary Jay Carney said.

The controversy came when the Associated Press reported that two months worth of reporters’ telephone records without their knowledge, obtaining a wide breadth of records that had nothing to do with the leak of information that they were concerned about. 

The Justice Department has spoken in the past about how they were upset over the leak of information about a foiled al Qaeda plot where the terrorist group planned to detonate a bomb on a plane bound for the United States.

‘I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks I’ve ever seen,’ Holder said.

It put the American people at risk. That’s not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk.’

That isn’t enough to satisfy critics, as top Republicans are already calling for Holder’s resignation over the incident.

Because Attorney General Holder has so egregiously violated the public trust, the president should ask for his immediate resignation,’ Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said. 

‘If President Obama does not, the message will be unmistakable: The President of the United States believes his administration is above the Constitution and does not respect the role of a free press.’

The records listed journalists’ incoming and outgoing calls, as well as the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.

In all, the government seized records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.

News of the probe into one of the largest news organizations in the world immediately sparked outrage among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

‘The First Amendment is first for a reason,’ Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, told MailOnline

‘If the Obama Administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.’

A spokesman for Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the move is representative of a broader ‘pattern of intimidation.’

‘Whether it is secretly targeting patriotic Americans participating in the electoral progress or reporters exercising their First Amendment rights, these new revelations suggest a pattern of intimidation by the Obama Administration,’ Doug Heye said.

The American Civil Liberties Union was equally critical. 

( You Know you screwed up if even the ACLU is on your butt.) :D

‘Obtaining a broad range of telephone records in order to ferret out a government leaker is an unacceptable abuse of power,’ said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. ‘Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters and their sources.’

AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation.

He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.

There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,’ Pruitt wrote in a letter of protest to  Holder. 

‘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 news gathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.’

The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot.

The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.

In testimony in February, CIA Director John Brennan noted that the FBI had questioned him about whether he was AP’s source, which he denied. 

He called the release of the information to the media about the terror plot an ‘unauthorized and dangerous disclosure of classified information.’

Prosecutors have sought phone records from reporters before, but the seizure of records from such a wide array of AP offices, including general AP switchboards numbers and an office-wide shared fax line, is unusual and largely unprecedented.

In the letter notifying the AP received Friday, the Justice Department offered no explanation for the seizure, according to Pruitt’s letter and attorneys for the AP.

The records were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year although the government letter did not explain that. None of the information provided by the government to the AP suggested the actual phone conversations were monitored.

~Steve~

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324501/Attorney-General-Eric-Holder-defends-deputys-decision-secretly-obtain-journalists-phone-records-saying-searching-leak.html#ixzz2TMlgvGVJ