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Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.
The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.
“I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable,” Obama said. “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”
Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”
Obama’s comments follow a firestorm of criticism that has erupted over disclosures that in separate investigations of leaks of classified information, the Justice Department had obtained private emails that Rosen exchanged with a source and the phone records of Associated Press reporters.
The Boy Scouts of America threw open its ranks Thursday to gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders – a fiercely contested compromise that some warned could fracture the organization and lead to mass defections of members and donors.
Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.
“This has been a challenging chapter in our history,” the BSA chief executive, Wayne Brock, said after the vote. “While people have differing opinions on this policy, kids are better off when they’re in Scouting.”
However, the outcome will not end the bitter debate over the Scouts’ membership policy.
Liberal Scout leaders – while supporting the proposal to accept gay youth – have made clear they want the ban on gay adults lifted as well.
In contrast, conservatives with the Scouts – including some churches that sponsor Scout units – wanted to continue excluding gay youths, in some cases threatening to defect if the ban were lifted.
“We are deeply saddened,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee after learning of the result. “Homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Scout oath and Scout law.”
The Assemblies of God, another conservative denomination, said the policy change “will lead to a mass exodus from the Boy Scout program.” It also warned that the change would make the BSA vulnerable to lawsuits seeking to end the ban on gay adults.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also expressed dismay.
“While I will always cherish my time as a Scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision,” he said.
The result was welcomed by many liberal members of the Scouting community and by gay-rights activists, though most of the praise was coupled with calls for ending the ban on gay adults.
“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, but until there’s a place for everyone in Scouting, my work will continue,” said Jennifer Tyrrell, whose ouster as a Cub Scout den leader in Ohio because she is lesbian launched a national protest movement.
Pascal Tessier, a 16-year-old Boy Scout from Maryland, was elated by the outcome.
Tessier, who is openly gay, is on track to earn his Eagle Scout award and was concerned that his goal would be thwarted if the proposed change had been rejected.
“I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout,” Tessier said. “Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing.”
A little girl, named Tatum Raetz, graduated from kindergarten in Phoenix, Arizona.
Her Daddy couldn’t be there with her. He was killed by an illegal hit and run driver, with a history of fleeing to Mexico. The Senate should be proud.
Since her Daddy couldn’t be there, some 100 Phoenix Police Officers showed up to give show their love and support to Tatum, along with 400 other parents and friends.
So while politicians, IRS administrators, and other assorted asshats do their best to cover their ass while they lie and deceive the American people, regular working people show up and do the right thing.
Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple” who was also a “jurist” in the kangaroo court “Russell Tribunal on Palestine,” believes that Israel is an apartheid state.
She also believes that the world is run by shape-shifting reptilian aliens who practice mind control from the Moon.
I’m not sure which opinion is more bizarre.
Majorities of American voters say their family will be worse off under the Affordable Care Act, and think it would be better to go back to the pre-ObamaCare health care system.
A Fox News poll released Wednesday finds that while 26 percent of voters say their health care situation will be better under the new law, twice as many — 53 percent — say it will be worse. Another 13 percent say it won’t make a difference.
Almost all Republicans (85 percent) and just over half of independents (51 percent) say they will be worse off under ObamaCare. Nearly half of Democrats expect to be better off (48 percent), while about one-quarter believe they will be worse off (24 percent).
Young voters and seniors are pessimistic about ObamaCare. Majorities of those under age 35 and those 65+ think things will be worse under the 2010 health care law.
That helps explains why a 56-percent majority wants to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009. Some 34 percent would stick with the new law.
Scores of supporters of the English Defence League threw bottles at police and chanted anti-Muslim slogans in Woolwich hours after the murder of one man and the shooting of his two suspected assailants.
About 100 men, including some wearing balaclavas printed with “EDL”, engaged in running battles with police for less than an hour.
A police commander said officers cited section 60 of the Public Order Act, which allowed them to stop and search individuals within a specific area without evidence of a crime being committed.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson said: “They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off. This is Islam. That’s what we’ve seen today. They’ve cut off one of our army’s heads off on the streets of London.
“Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace. It’s not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam. Everyone’s had enough. There has to be a reaction, for the government to listen, for the police to listen, to understand how angry this British public are.”
The men congregated near Woolwich Arsenal station with flags bearing the cross of St George after plans for a protest were circulated on social media. Hundreds of police including riot police were stationed around Woolwich.
The first clashed began just after ten before the men were pursued and blocked in at a pub close to a local mosque.
Make no mistake: by criminalizing James Rosen of Fox News for asking government employees to give him information, the Obama administration is suppressing the ability of the press to do its job. It is so egregious that even the New York Times, normally sycophants for Obama, is alarmed. The editorial board today writes:
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.
And the Times, a member/owner of Associated Press, detects a pattern:
The Rosen case follows other signs that the administration has gone overboard in its zeal to find and muzzle insiders. The Associated Press revealed last week that the government had secretly seized two months’ worth of records for telephones used by the agency’s staff, partly to determine the source of a leak about a report involving a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen. At least two other major leak investigations are continuing. Six current and former administration officials have been indicted under the old Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press and public. In 2010, a federal judge in Maryland sentenced a leaker to 20 months in jail while admitting that he was “in the dark as to the kind of documents” involved in the leak or what impact they had on national security.
Many conservatives have moved beyond caring what the Times thinks or writes. But the newspaper acts as a pilot fish for the rests of the media, so its position on this move toward authoritarianism is highly significant.
Rioters have lit fires and stoned emergency services in the suburbs of Stockholm for the third night in a row after a man was shot dead by police.
More than 80% of Husby’s 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.
Since 2006, with the beginnings of the breakaway of populist conservatives from the national Republican Party via the Tea Party movement, the GOP has been trying to figure out how to co-opt and capture it once again, just as George W. Bush did with many elements of the conservative movement in the early years of the 21st century.
But with the unofficial (and official) rise of the Tea Party movement, this development has struck fear in the Washington establishment because it represents an intellectual challenge to the anti-intellectual status quo of the Democrats and the Big Government Republicans.
Dorothy Parker observed her own destructiveness and the “curling smoke” of the “burning bridges” of her escapades. The IRS and the Washington Establishment may have irreparably burned down the bridge of legitimacy granted it by the American people, and the national Republicans smell an opportunity in the curling smoke.
Men and women of the Establishment Republican Party like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who previously regarded the Tea Party Movement as something unpleasant and unsophisticated, are now trying to be their friends. That sound you just heard was thousands of Tea Party individuals choking with laughter at the thought of Susan Collins defending them. Same goes for Mitch McConnell and other majoritarian Republicans. Already well known is the GOP establishment had and has nothing but contempt for the Tea Party. As my grandfather used to say, “Cover your wallet,” as the GOP desperately tried to inject itself into the debate.