After years of denouncing Bush wiretapping, Think Progress says phone taps necessary to protect against terrorists
Paul Joseph Watson
May 14, 2013
After years of scorning the Bush administration for spying on American citizens in the name of prosecuting the war on terror, pro-Obama outfit Think Progress has defended the Obama administration for phone tapping the Associated Press in the name of fighting terrorists.
In an article entitled Why The Department Of Justice Is Going After The Associated Press’ Records, Think Progress writer Hayes Brown attempts to absolve the administration by placing the blame on the AP for reporting on the CIA’s involvement in disrupting an alleged terror plot in Yemen.
Despite the fact that the Associated Press obeyed orders by the White House and the CIA to delay reporting the story, Think Progress justified the phone taps by accusing the AP of aiding terrorists.
“By reporting the CIA’s involvement in foiling the plot, they put AQAP on notice that the CIA had a window into their activities. The AP’s reporting also led to other stories involving an operative in place within AQAP, and details of the operations he was involved in. That operative, it was feared, would be exposed and targeted by AQAP as retribution for siding with the United States,” wrote Brown.
The notion that it would take an Associated Press story to tip off Al-Qaeda that “the CIA had a window into their activities” is beyond naive.
In addition, the phone taps of the Associated Press extended well beyond issues related to national security, including 20 tapped phone lines used by over 100 journalists “whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.”
While Think Progress is content to place the importance of disrupting foggy terror plots in foreign countries above the very bedrock of America, the Constitution and the 4th Amendment, under a Democratic administration, it was noticeably less keen to do so when George W. Bush was in office.
A search of the Think Progress website produces innumerable articles from 2005 onwards which slam the Bush-era wiretapping program as unconstitutional, with a plethora of stories which attack individuals who supported it, including an admonition of Ann Coulter for calling for the execution of the NY Times journalists who revealed the program.
Instead of skewering the Obama administration for spying on the media, now it’s Think Progress’ turn to blame the press while completely ignoring the constitutional question.
A number of readers expressed their anger with Think Progress for giving Obama a pass on the scandal.
“Oh so they spun it so that its AP’s fault for releasing secret info that endangered the CIA? Instead of being about the unconstitutional search and seizure of phone records. It feels like Thinkprogress works for who ever this portrays positively,” wrote Ryan Ducken
“As a liberal, I am frankly disgusted by the Obama Administration right now. And I am not sure why TP isn’t outraged as well. Substitute Bush for Obama in the above post and they would have been foaming at the mouth. This site needs to stop bending over backwards to justify everything Obama does. I voted for him, don’t regret voting for him but he and his administration need to step up and acknowledge that they were wrong in both this case and the IRS case (And maybe it is time for Eric Holder to resign. I doubt he will survive this AP scandal anyway),” wrote Kevin Petrocelli.
“I am glad the Department of Justice values the freedom of the press and wants to strike a balance. And the way to strike that balance is for the Administration to go to a judge and got a warrant. The Executive Branch does not get to decide for themselves what records they can seize—there was this scandal called Watergate several years ago that showed the danger of that. But I am concerned because I didn’t see any reference to a judge or a warrant in the story,” added Joseph Propenski.
Think Progress’ defense of the White House for spying on the media makes sense when you consider the fact that the organization is basically a front group for the Obama administration.
As we have previously documented, Think Progress claims that it is a “nonpartisan organization,” and yet is bankrolled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a think tank headed by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John D. Podesta , who was also head of Barack Obama’s presidential transition team after the 2008 election.
According to SourceWatch, “CAP’s Progressive Media project emerged as a major communications war room on behalf of Obama’s domestic and foreign policy agenda and CAP became a strong advocate for escalation in Afghanistan. Progressive Media is run through the Center for American Project Action Fund, the more political 501(c)4 arm of CAP. It coordinates closely with the Common Purpose Project, an effort to create message discipline among the pro-Obama organizations, with a direct tie to the White House.”
According to Center for American Progress director Jennifer Palmieri, the organization is focused around “driving the White House’s message and agenda.”
Think Progress is also closely allied with Media Matters under the umbrella of Podesta’s Progressive Media propaganda campaign. An investigation by the Daily Caller last year revealed that Media Matters is an Obama administration front that strategizes with the White House on a weekly basis on how to influence and direct the news media.
Though the Center for American Progress is shy about revealing its financial backers, according to SourceWatch, no less than 58 foundations have donated over $15 million dollars since 2003, as well as corporations and elitist philanthropists such as George Soros, who donated $3 million for “general support” in 2006.
Think Progress’ stance on the hacking of AP also correlates with the fact that it was the Obama administration itself which invoked “government secrecy in defending the Bush administration’s wiretapping program” in April 2009 just months after Obama came to office.