All In | May 17, 2013
>>> is this still america? is this government so drunk on power that it would turn its full force , its full might to harass and intimidate and threaten an average american who only want her voice and their voices heard? mr. miller, who in the irs is responsible for targeting conservative organizations?
>> that was some world class um bridge taking while drilling the soon to be former irs chief steven miller . you probably thought, as i did, while watching him, relax, buddy. you probably have been feeling that way all week as it what we in the office has taken to call scandalgate. with the ridiculous benghazi talking point and ultimately what appears to be bureaucratic failure at the irs . as a liberal, it is easy to get your dander up and say hey, guy webs back off. these are not scandals. there's another one i think we should talk about. in fact, you know what, come closer. there we go. i understand gouting the brain of the washington media complex of bundity on cable news, politicians grand standing about scandals. particularly in this kind of scandal season when scandals are holy invented but we cannot let that mind us to what the stakes are in another really trouble sum episode. what the department of justice did in seizing two months of phone record and 20 calls from associated press phone lines. i want to take a second to explain why this matters and why it is a big deal and why it is outrageous, what the doj did. in march 2 00 of, the associated press reported on a confidential videotape showing federal officials warning president bush and homeland security chief before hurricane katrina struck that the storm could breech new orleans levees. in 2005 , an ap investigation found top lobbyist appealing to some three dozen members of congress to right to interior secretary gail norton blocking a casino in indiana that had other tribes that hired him. in order to keep it t secret, whisking getting him out of gitmo. that is just a few of the malfeesance or incompetence tense. stories brought to you. those stories took a chance, identified wrongdoing, found a secret that shouldn't be a secret and believed that we should know about it. those people spoke to reporter with a trust that their secrets could be protected and they wouldn't face humiliation and recrimination. think of every source that every ap reporter has right now and whether they are going to trust the ap again. think of someone right now who might be sitting on an army base who knows about a serial sexual predators at a high level who want to blow the whistle and is terrified after reading call logs that the government is in the same area that they want to blow the whistle on. every sixth possible news source ease well as the news source itself. barack obama is not going to be president forever . after him there will be others. it is a core function of democracy in the first amendment. we have an oppositional press trying to find out things that the government doesn't want to know and we can't allow them to have the power to destroy the press's ability to do that. on twitter and facebook, i've seen a fir number of liberals and democrats come to the department of justice 's defense and say what eric holder and president obama 's has said about the week.
>> it putting the american people at risk. that's not hyperbole. you put the american people at risk.
>> leaks related to national security can put people at risk.
>> it is important to remember this is always what presidents and officials say about leaks to journalists. some less eloquently than others.
>> i'm going to tell you something. leaks of classified information are bad things.
>> we can't just take these aversions at face value because we have no independent way to know what to agree and in what instance. we need the press to tell us stuff the government doesn't want us it know. the only things we will learn about the massive ever expanding secret government are things that make that government look good. obtaining a massive trove of phone record is more than just a one-off happenstance. it constitutes a terrify oing precedent for future administrations. when you're watching this unfold, take a moment to ask yourself honestly, how you would feel if george w. bush is the one doing it. we will be right back with click