(NaturalNews) Terrorism, and the threat of new attacks, dominated U.S. domestic policy and national security strategy throughout the Bush Administration, but my, how times have changed: Despite the recent terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon April 19, President Barack Obama appears to be more concerned about bad press than the next 9/11, according to former New Jersey Superior Court judge and current Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano.
In recent syndicated columns, Napolitano has taken the president to task over its abuse of the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press by allowing his Justice Department and attorney general (so far) to abuse the constitutional rights of Associated Press and Fox News reporters who were pursuing legitimate stories.
Napolitano reserved particular ire for the president over Justice's targeting of James Rosen, a Fox News pro whose beat is the State Department. Calling him "a professional journalist," Napolitano laid out the department's "case" against Rosen:
In order to do his job, he has cultivated sources in the State Department - folks willing to speak from time to time off the record. One of Rosen's sources apparently was a former employee of a federal contractor who was on detail to the State Department, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim. Kim is an expert in arms control and national defense whose lawyers have stated that his job was to explain byzantine government behavior so we all can understand it. When he was indicted for communicating top secret and sensitive information, presumably to Rosen, his lawyers replied by stating that the information he discussed was already in the public domain, and thus it wasn't secret.
'Reporters are protected...'
None of that mattered to Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, who initially and under oath before a congressional committee denied any knowledge of Justice targeting any reporters (http://www.naturalnews.com) - a claim that now appears to be untrue (making Holder likely guilty of perjury, at the least).
Upset by the disclosure, the Obama Administration decided to go after Rosen as well as Kim. In doing so, according to reports, Justice lawyers shopped around for a federal judge willing to allow the FBI unconstitutional and highly improper access to Rosen's Gmail accounts - all without allowing Google to inform Rosen his emails were being "obtained" by the Feds.
Reporters are protected in their craft by the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has ruled that they can ask whatever questions they wish without fear of prosecution. If Kim revealed classified information to Rosen - a charge Kim vigorously denies - that is Kim's crime, not Rosen's. The Supreme Court ruled in the Pentagon Papers case that it is not a crime for a journalist to seek secrets, to receive them, to possess them and to publish them so long as they affect a matter of material public interest.
The government's behavior here is very troubling. Government lawyers and FBI agents are charged with knowing the law. They must have known that Rosen committed no crime, and they no doubt never intended to charge him, and they never have.
Tyranny now and around the corner In addition, no charges have been filed against Justice Department lawyers who misrepresented Rosen's case to a federal judge nor against the FBI agents and department officials who conspired with Google to steal Rosen's protected emails. And they are not likely to be.
That's because, as Napolitano notes in his column, this kind of criminal, lawless behavior has become the norm for an administration that has also been allowed to get away with sending American guns that were later used to kill federal agents to criminal drug gangs south of the border, to sic the IRS on political enemies, to bomb Libya into lawlessness, leading to the death of a U.S. ambassador by armed "rebel" groups, and to pick and choose which federal laws it wants to enforce and which ones it wants to ignore (such as the Defense of Marriage Act and federal statutes outlawing marijuana use).
"The reason we have the due process safeguards imposed upon the government by the Constitution is to keep tyranny from lurking anywhere here, much less around the corner," Napolitano writes. "Due process is the intentionally created obstacle to government procedural shortcuts, which, if disregarded, will invite tyranny to knock at the front door and sneak in through the back."