Amendment Number One Treated Like Number Two
Last Friday, Justice Department officials revealed that they had been surreptitiously sifting through records of A.P. reporters and editors for months, but offered virtually no explanation for the dragnet. Holder refused to divulge the particulars underlying the records seizure. His deputy, James Cole, also failed to provide credible justification for violating The A.P.'s First Amendment rights, except to say that the covert reviews were related to a 2012 "criminal investigation involving highly classified material." And underpants.
Holder defended his actions as necessary responses to a leak so serious, it "put the American people at risk." But Holder's consternation seems hyperbolic in context of the story that allegedly spurred the investigation.
Given the Obama administration's mania for identifying and suppressing whistleblowers, many in the press see the Justice Department's actions as an illicit fishing expedition intended to frighten off leakers too close to internal government sources. Those nearest to the attorney general believe his reaction to be deeply personal and rooted in a troubled past.
Mr. Holder implied that the leak under scrutiny concerned an article about a foiled terror plot last year in Yemen, involving a newer, more deadly type of explosive underwear device. He denounced the article as imperilling American lives, but refused to elaborate on how it did so.
Under existing guidelines, Holder's team should have sought data from other sources first, ensured that its requests for media information were narrow, and have notified The A.P. in advance.
As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted, the bombing suspects "had not yet picked a target or bought a plane ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb. AP added that the plot was uncovered 'even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no Al-Qaeda plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden's death.' The arrest of an Al-Qaeda operative is not news to Al-Qaeda, nor are militant groups unaware of the types of bomb technology they possess. The existence of plots to harm the American public is, however, something that that public has a right to know about--particularly if the government is misleading them about issues of national security."
Around that same time, The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript had also uncovered evidence from government sources in Yemen that revealed the CIA's bizarrely granular investigation of underwear manufacturers.
CIA operatives investigating the case say that while al Qaeda may have improved its weapons delivery capabilities, it remains in the Dark Ages where fashion is concerned. And because this is the second time underwear has been deployed tactically, the CIA is focusing efforts on possible sympathizers in the United States who may be providing these "personal package delivery systems" to Islamic terrorists.
"We first looked at Hanes," said Grayson Hollisk, the agent leading the task force overseeing the clothing investigation. "Hanes typically peddles practical briefs at affordable prices. Based on al Qaeda's budgetary constraints and weakened network, we figured Hanes made sense. But the drawers we examined just didn't measure up to the same quality, contour or swagger. You know, they were basic white briefs, scratchy elastic waistbands, those weird overlapping folds in the front that you can never open, so you end up peeing all over yourself. You can't allow for that much moisture on the detonators. So, we ruled out Hanes."
Fruit of the Loom garments, according to investigators, more closely matched the higher end style of the underwear discovered.
Holder Frightened, Confused by Internet and Culture of Information Sharing
Without denying allegations that his department circumvented due process and infringed on The A.P.'s constitutional protections, Atty. Gen. Holder stood by his actions as necessary evils.
"The fabric of our world is tearing apart at the seams, and we're unleashing anarchy," Holder nervously confessed during a press briefing Thursday.
"Without appropriate filters, citizens will panic and society will crumble," he added. "For example, my department knows that you're having a politically dangerous homosexual affair with a janitor at a medical marijuana clinic who's on welfare, Ed [Ed Henry of FOX News]. We know that Chuck [Chuck Todd of NBC News] over there runs an illegal donkey show operation in Virginia, and that his ridiculous goatee is covering a tattoo of an Ewok in stiletto heels that's making white supremacist statements. But can you imagine what would happen if this information made its way into the public discourse via Twitter or Facebook or a Wikipedia bio?"
To bolster his argument, Holder reminded the press corps of storied correspondent Helen Thomas' downfall over a controversial anti-Israel comment.
"Everybody in politics, Republicans and Democrats alike, including President Obama, knows Israel is a pain in the butt and that the Jews should get out of Palestine, but they can't say that," Holder asserted. "Helen Thomas' career was ruined in that one moment. It forced her resignation. But she was caught only because of this nation's over-broadcasting of all events across satellite TV, cell phones, Instagram, YouTube and the Internet."
Holder admitted that such disclosures have recently rattled his own personal life.
"I discovered on Twitter that my daughter and her friends had snuck off to a pizza party with a bunch of boys -- and she's lactose intolerant," he gasped.
"While perusing Ancestry.com, I learned that my grandparents came from Barbados -- a land where the devil is openly worshipped. And through an e-book about the prophecies of Nostradamus, and this is difficult to admit, I became faced with the insight that our world will end soon in a nuclear war launched by a vague dictator in a purple turban, who may or may not come from Iran, North Korea, Syria or any other country that hates us. And this future intelligence about the End of Days, which is available to anyone online, is a terrifying breach of national security."
Combing through records obtained from Wikipedia, online encyclopedias, blogs and e-books, Holder also found that any citizen can instantly locate uncomfortable truths that tarnish the carefully fabricated national image of the United States.
"With minimal effort, I stumbled on detailed exposes about our campaign of genocide against the indigenous population of Native Americans, how the French actually saved our asses during the Revolutionary War, that horse meat is used as fillers in most of our beef, and that Liberace and Rock Hudson were gay," Holder explained.
"These facts pervert the idea of America to the average person. They sabotage faith and compromise trust in the country's leaders and its values. They lead to dissent. At some point, too much information kills a society," Holder said. "Remember, when Rome fell, the libraries burned first."
So detrimental is the propagation of data through social media and wiki-type knowledge portals that Holder canceled his own Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and MySpace accounts.
After the speech, Holder's close friends and relatives helped escort him from the venue. He was visibly agitated and quaking.
A cousin said that Mr. Holder had never recovered from a traumatic childhood incident, which provoked his lifelong crusade against leaks and whistleblowing.
"Eric and a girl, as a lot of kids in the first grade, were playing doctor," the cousin told reporters. "After, the girl drew a picture of Eric. He was depicted naked, with a miniscule penis. I mean, freakishly small. Like it would never get any better as he aged. Like he was possibly born a woman or at least a hermaphrodite. Like, even a child molester would pass. And over the picture was a caption that read 'Wee Willie Winkie.' She made copies and passed them around the class. Just tragic. He never got over it."
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