KATIE ZERR: DOJ’s investigation of reporter wrong on every level

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A sports fan can tell when a coach is beginning to lose control of a team. There are signs that not all is right when cameras catch heated exchanges between the players, or the players and coaches. Sometimes it is one or two players telling the press about what is happening in the locker room or that there are certain members of the team who are not doing their job.

When it becomes obvious that not all is good in the locker room, it is time for the team’s leader to step up and take action. Usually a coach will loose his job, or the offending team members are .

In Washington, it is becoming clear that there is unrest in the ranks and President Obama is losing control of the team.

With the media and Congress pushing for action to be taken, whether or not it is needed, the president is between a rock and hard place. It is clear that he has not had control of his coaches or some of the players and it is coming back to bite him.

Some of the “scandals” in Washington are not as serious as they are being made out to be, but there are serious situations at the White House. Obama needs to get control of the team for the fans to feel comfortable that he is in command.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) actions in the case of Fox News journalist James Rosen is such a situation. The scandal revolves around the DOJ’s seizure of emails from the Rosen’s personal g-mail account.

A 2010 FBI affidavit used to obtain a search warrant showed that the government viewed Rosen’s aggressive solicition of a leak of classified information as aiding, abetting or conspiring with his source in violating the “Unauthorized Disclosure of National Defense Information” statute. The DOJ considered Rosen someone who possessed evidence about the source of a national security leak and an indictable law-breaker. Rosen, it seems, was discussing with a contractor North Korea’s reaction to sanctions with more nuclear tests.

The DOJ was already in hot water over the revelation that federal prosecutors had seized the phone records of reporters and editors from the Associated Press in a separate leak probe. It had caused a firestorm of criticism from the media, civil-liberties groups, and members of Congress. The actions of the DOJ were an egregious offence against the sanctions of a free and unencumbered press.

The DOJ’s investigation of the Associated Press involves a 2012 leak of classified information about a foiled al Qaeda plot to down a commercial airliner. In a time when terror is our greatest foe, the DOJ seemed to get a little leeway on this investigation.

But the Rosen case is outrageous from the beginning and if the DOJ does not have solid, irrefutable evidence that Rosen committed treasonous acts and is an enemy of the state, then heads should roll in Washington.

Attorney General Eric Holder bears a direct responsibility. He approved a search warrant that labeled Rosen’s work as an investigative reporter as criminal conduct.

He is the coach that should take the responsibility for the public losing confidence in this team. He is responsible and he should answer for it.

The Obama administration is still drowning in the allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups and the Benghazi attack. The Attorney General’s department has not only overstepped their bounds but have committed an act that harms the functions of the freedom of the press. The loss of liberty in the press muzzles the watchdog of the government.

Thomas Jefferson, a man who had a love-hate relationship with newspapers once said, “Our liberty depends upon the freedom of the press.”

We cannot have an administration that tolerates the squashing of that freedom.

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