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The DOJ's AP Investigation

May 14, 2013 4:02 pm ET
The AP revealed yesterday that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of reporter and editor phone records from 2012, likely as part of an investigation  into leaks around a counterterrorist operation in the Arabian Peninsula. While it's early in this story and we don't have all the facts, this case raises important questions about the balance between a free press and effective national security. For those interested in pushing back against partisan attacks while the rest of us grapple with the larger questions, here is language to guide you.

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KEY ISSUES TO RAISE

  • If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.
  • It was not acceptable when the Bush Administration exposed Valerie Plame working undercover to stop terrorists from attacking us. It is not acceptable when anonymous sources do it either.
  • Is this story about a government source blowing the whistle on government misbehavior, or about a source gratuitously exposing ongoing counter-terrorism operations?
  • Did Republicans in Congress who are now exploiting the situation to score political points oppose the media shield law that likely would have protected the Associated Press in this situation?
  • How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. 
See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.


 


Posted in - Crime - National Security - Judiciary