Exactly ten days ago, President Barack Obama was piously telling reporters who cover him that free speech and an independent press are “essential pillars of our democracy.” On Monday, the Associated Press accused his administration of undermining that very pillar by secretly obtaining two months’ worth of telephone records of AP reporters and editors.“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.The latest revelations are sure to pour fuel on the fire of Republican-driven Richard Nixon comparisons. They come in the wake of revelations that the IRS may have improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative, tea party-linked groups.
No explanation yet, but it is hard to imagine what it will be for such a broad intrusion.
It's not unusual for presidents to talk about controlling presidential power before they get into office, and then look to expand presidential power once they get in office, but there's no need to allow this to occur.
Will Congress get its act together enough to put appropriate restraints in place, or not?