BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Citing concerns about First Amendment erosion based on revelations about covert Justice Department probes of journalists, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today called the government snooping â€œdeplorable, if not despicable.â€
â€œIt is disturbing that James Rosen, who covers the State Department for Fox News was targeted,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, â€œbut now published reports suggest that the DOJ, in a separate effort, apparently also targeted Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse, who broke several stories about Operation Fast and Furious.
â€œWe find this deplorable and despicable,â€ he added, â€œand a clear sign that the Obama administration is not simply out of touch, it is out of control. It is time for Congress to put a check on the Executive branch and rein these people in, and it is also time for Attorney General Eric Holder to go.â€
Gottlieb noted that, â€œIt is the role of the press to be a watchdog on government, not the other way around.â€ He said Rosen and La Jeunesse â€œnot only did nothing wrong, they did their jobs. In La Jeunesseâ€™s case, he has been instrumental in exposing the outrage known as Fast and Furious to the American people.â€
Fast and Furious is the scandalous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun trafficking operation that authorized at least 2,000 AK-type rifles to be purchased by known criminal suspects. It was terminated immediately after a gun associated with the operation was recovered at the scene of a gunfight in 2010 that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
â€œIt should not surprise anyone that the First Amendment is every bit as important to us as the Second Amendment,â€ Gottlieb observed. â€œThe Citizens Committee is not an organization that cherry picks from the Bill of Rights. Unlike the Obama administration, we revere all the individual rights protected by the Constitution, while they seem intent on ignoring its very existence.
â€œIn light of these scandals,â€ he concluded, â€œit is clear why gun owners are being joined by growing legions of other citizens in their distrust of government.â€