The AP has a scathing reply to Deputy Attorney General’s claim that the subpoena he signed fulfilled DOJ guidelines on scope and notice. Among other details, it reveals the AP only learned via Cole’s letter that DOJ seized just portions of the call records of April and May 2012.
In addition, the AP makes the same point I keep making: the White House had told AP the risk to national security had passed and that it planned to release this information itself the next day.
Finally, they say this secrecy is important for national security. It is always difficult to respond to that, particularly since they still haven’t told us specifically what they are investigating.
We believe it is related to AP’s May 2012 reporting that the U.S. government had foiled a plot to put a bomb on an airliner to the United States. We held that story until the government assured us that the national security concerns had passed. Indeed, the White House was preparing to publicly announce that the bomb plot had been foiled.
The White House had said there was no credible threat to the American people in May of 2012. The AP story suggested otherwise, and we felt that was important information and the public deserved to know it.
Note what else is implied by the comment: the AP believed that the threat had posed a real threat, in contradiction to what the White House had been claiming at the time.
If they believed the plot was a real threat, though, then it means they didn’t know it was just a Saudi manufactured sting. The AP didn’t, apparently, know, the detail that Brennan’s blabbing led to the reporting of, that the plot was really just a sting led by a British Saudi infiltrator.
The White House had several choices last year.
They could have quietly informed the AP that the threat had actually been thwarted a week or so before May 1, which is one basis for their claim they had no credible threats of terrorist attacks; that would have allowed CIA to claim credit for thwarting the attack without making John Brennan look like a liar.
They could have just shut up, and dealt with fairly narrow push-back amid the hails of glory for intercepting a plot. (Note, even I only realized how central the May 1 detail was to Brennan’s pique now that I’ve read his confirmation testimony in conjunction with the original article.)
Or, in a panic, Brennan could do what he did, which led to the far more damaging details of this Saudi manufactured plot to be exposed.
It’s pretty clear Brennan chose the worst possible option, and the ensuing outrage is the real reason why AP is being targeted.