The officials said that no decision has been reached on whether to add the alleged operative to the administration’s so-called kill list, a step that would require Justice Department approval under new counterterrorism guidelines adopted by President Obama last year.
Posts filed under ‘President Barack H. Obama and Co.’
Poor George. I think this is how he’ll be remembered…forever:
If Republicans ever – ever — bring up the supposed scandal that was Benghazi again, I hope every single Democratic politician and journalists everywhere will wave this in their face:
GOP Report Acknowledges That The U.S. Military Couldn’t Have Changed Benghazi Outcome
In a new report released on Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee concludes that there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night. In doing so, the report debunks entirely a right-wing myth that says the White House ordered the military not to intervene.
The Democrats on the panel asked their Republican colleagues if they could finally move on from Bengahzi. “This report, produced by House Armed Services Committee Republicans, should finally bring an end to the politicization of the heinous attacks on brave Americans in Benghazi,” HASC Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-CA) and Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), the HASC Oversight and Investigations subcommittee’s ranking member, said in a statement. “It is time to move forward, take the real conclusions we have arrived at and establish how to best protect our citizens around the globe. It is our hope that today’s report, which was authored by Republicans, finally brings this attempt to manufactured scandal to an end.”
This is what the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution says:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
It doesn’t distinguish between someone who’s charged with J-walking or someone who’s accused of being part of al-Qaeda. Everyone is supposedly guaranteed the right to be informed of the exact nature of the charges against them, to face their accuser, hear the evidence against them, and to present evidence in their defense (if they wish). At least, that’s how we’ve operated for the last 230 years until constitutional lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s administration admitted last May to killing four Americans in Yemen.
All that said, Obama’s thinking about being the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to another American:
U.S. Weighs Lethal Strike Against American Citizen
The Obama administration is weighing whether to approve a lethal strike against a U.S. citizen who is accused of being part of the al-Qaeda terrorist network overseas and involved in ongoing plotting against American targets, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials have not revealed the identify of the alleged operative, or the country where he is believed to be located, citing concern that disclosing those details would send him deeper into hiding and prevent a possible drone strike.
Got that? The administration is accusing this person of being part of an al-Qaeda network but again, he has a right, under our laws, to defend himself in court. That Obama is the first president (that we know of) to murder U.S. citizens, ignoring their rights, is shocking and appalling given, again, his supposed expertise in constitutional law.
Are we really such terrified little people we’re going to flush the Constitution down?
The guy has gone insane in that regard and imho, instead of looking strong, he looks weak and afraid.
Funny how Faux News, Rush Limbaugh and screamers in the Republican party paint Barack Obama as some sort of extreme commie liberal. The reality, unfortunately for some of us who voted for him, is the opposite: Barack Obama’s Conservative Utopia in 7 Charts — While politicians on the far right scream socialism, President Obama has quietly created a conservative America. And the statistics prove it.
The article goes on to document how and why Obama’s out Republicaning Republicans:
If You Like the Rich, You Should Like Obama
If You Like Corporations You Should Like Obama
If You Like Killing the Environment You Should Like Obama
If You Hate Deficits You Should Like Obama
If You Hate Illegal Immigrants You Should Like Obama
If You Like the Pentagon You Should Like Obama
Obama is the figurehead for those of us who say, “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.”
Check out the article (link above). All you have to do is look at the charts to get the picture (and sick to your stomach).
You might remember back in January when President Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway, George Tsunis, embarrassed himself and, in my opinion, all of us, during his confirmation hearing when it became obvious he didn’t know much at all about that country.
Well, Obama’s done it again, i.e., he’s nominated a rich campaign contributor to be ambassador to Argentina and the guy hasn’t even been there.
During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for political consultant Noah Mamet, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked “Mr. Mamet, have you been to Argentina?”
“Senator, I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” Mamet replied. “I’ve traveled pretty extensively around the world, but I haven’t yet had a chance.”
Rubio said he thought Mamet’s resume was “impressive” but cautioned that the ambassadorship in Argentina was a “very significant post,” and it is perhaps more so now that the country’s currency has plunged.
As Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out, Mamet bundled at least $500,000 for Obama’s campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s figures.
Shouldn’t having been to a country be kind of like, oh, I don’t know, the minimum requirement for being appointed ambassador to that country?
I had a mammogram on December 21. Today I got the “Explanation of Benefits” from my insurance company. It categorized the procedure as “preventive care.”
Preventive care? What a concept.
Billed Charges: $380.00
Less Discount Disallowed: $239.40
Insurance Paid Provider: $140.60
Patient Liability: 00
This is the first time in my life (that I remember) I haven’t had to pay a cent for a mammogram.
A mammogram should be seen as “preventive care” and it should be fully covered. Why wouldn’t an insurance company want to catch something early? It could save itself hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But no. It took what was practically an act of god to instil that thought into the American psyche and yet Republicans have voted 46 times to repeal it.
I’m a Medicare-for-all gal but I’m so thankful for this change (and for an end to nixing people with a pre-existing condition too — what a relief).
Budweiser Pulls Out of Olympics Due to Terror Concerns
Budweiser has pulled out of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, citting terrorism concerns.
The beer company apparently hosts a traditional huge beer bash at the Olympics.
But this year, TMZ reports, the company got cold feet because of the ever-increasing terror warnings about Sochi.
As we’d reportedly earlier, the warnings about Sochi have off the charts, with reports that one or more suicide bombers may already have gotten past Olympic security.
It’s also entirely possibly that Budweiser, while not an official Olympic sponsor, simply no longer wanted its brand associated with an Olympics that’s increasingly being tied to Russia’s oppressive crackdown on human rights.
Coca-Cola, an official Olympic sponsor, has been facing blistering criticism for Olympic security forces, emblazoned with Coke’s logo, detaining a gay dissident for waving a rainbow flag, then turning the gay human rights activist over to the Russian police for further questioning at headquarters.
I’m cynical enough to through this out: What if these terror warnings have been pulled out of thin air by U.S. government officials to wreck the Olympics and to get back at, and embarrass, Putin?
This is a post for everyone out there who is outraged, outraged!, that President Obama would suggest issuing Executive Orders to get done some of the things he thinks should get done.
You should know that your so-called leaders, like Rand Paul, John Boehner, Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz, are playing you for absolute idiots when they scream about Obama being a “traitor,” of “acting unilaterally” or of working outside the “legislative process.“
First of all, Obama has issued fewer Executive Orders (EO) than any modern president, something the screamers on your side don’t mention. They figure you have no idea how many EOs presidents usually issue so you’ll go along with their ranting and raving: Obama’s going roguer than rogue! Put more simply, they think you’re stupid and uninformed and they know you won’t take time to look up the facts about EOs on your own.
Secondly, go to the White House website here and scroll down, through page after page of EOs issued by the most recent Republican president, George W. Bush. It’ll take a while because there are a whole lot of them there. Again, the folks you’re listening to on Fox and talk radio are taking you for idiots and fools on this issue.
Prove them wrong.
What would we do without The Donald pointing out, and commenting on, the important issues of our time?
Reality TV star Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at President Barack Obama as “sloppy” and “not appropriate” because he had chosen to not wear a tie in a Super Bowl pre-game interview.
While speaking to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview which aired during the Super Bowl XLVIII pregame show, the president opted for dress casual, wearing a jacket and a white dress shirt without a tie, just as he had in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
“I definitely think he should have worn a tie,” Trump complained to the hosts of Fox & Friends on Monday. “You know, he’s the president of the United States, let him put on a tie. Bill was wearing a tie, not that he has to follow Bill. But Bill was wearing a tie. He’s the president. It’s a formal position, I think he should wear a tie.”
“It’s sloppy, it’s not appropriate, it’s not presidential,” Trump opined. “He’s the president of the United States, let him put on a tie.”
‘Which Side Are You On?’ is a song written by Florence Reece in 1931. Reece was the wife of Sam Reece, a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1931, the miners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle with the mine owners. In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered their family home in search of Sam Reece. Sam had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to ‘Which Side Are You On?’ on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home. She took the melody from a traditional Baptist hymn, ‘Lay the Lily Low’, or the traditional ballad ‘Jack Munro’.
Bravo, bravo, bravo to this (pdf):
James Clapper is a national disgrace. He went before congress and lied his ass off last year.
I find it appauling that President Obama would nominate someone who knows absolutely nothing about a country, in this case Norway, to be my/our representative to that country.
From Norway’s News in English:
Future US Envoy Displays Total Ignorance of Norway
The US’s next ambassador to Norway has committed a jaw-dropping diplomatic blunder before he even begins, describing politicians from the Progress Party, which has seven ministers, as “fringe elements” that “spew their hatred” in a US Senate hearing.Asked by Senator John McCain what he thought it was about the “anti-immigration” Progress Party that appealed to Norwegian voters, Greek American businessman George Tsunis seemed unaware of the party’s role in the ruling coalition.“You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred,” he said in the pre-appointment hearing. “And I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them.”McCain interrupted him, pointing out that as part of the coalition, the party was hardly being denounced.“I stand corrected,” Tsunis said after a pause. ”I would like to leave my answer at… it’s a very,very open society and the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don’t feel the same way.”The blunder came after a faltering, incoherent performance from Tsunis, in which he made a reference to Norway’s “president”, apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.
[Tsunis] donated $267,244to the Democratic party in the 2012 election cycle, and $278,531 in 2010, making him one of the party’s top individual donors.
Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guantánamo. The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order. If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guantánamo at the time of closure of those detention facilities.More… (pdf)
Maybe it’s just me, but have you noticed how the cable “news” networks cycle through so-called news stories roughly every eight, ten, 15 minutes and repeat themselves ad nauseam all day (unless there’s “breaking news” of course, like a high-speed police chase or an apartment fire)?
And maybe its just me but have you noticed how the right constantly screams about how liberal the U.S. media is?
Imagine how this country would change if the media really was liberal and they repeated this kind of thing every day, all day:
– Giving Employees Paid Sick Leave is Good for Business: A large majority of employers in Connecticut — where paid sick leave has been mandatory since January, 2012 — “reported that the law did not affect business operations and that they had no or only small increases in costs.”
– The NSA’s Sweeping Surveillance Programs Don’t Stop Terrorism: On June 5, 2013, the Guardian broke the first story in what would become a flood of revelations regarding the extent and nature of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Facing an uproar over the threat such programs posed to privacy, the Obama administration scrambled to defend them as legal and essential to U.S. national security and counterterrorism. Two weeks after the first leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published, President Obama defended the NSA surveillance programs during a visit to Berlin, saying: “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved.”
However, our review of the government’s claims about the role that NSA “bulk” surveillance of phone and email communications records has had in keeping the United States safe from terrorism shows that these claims are overblown and even misleading. An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.
Climate change will complicate the Philippines’ efforts to become self-sufficient in rice, the country’s economic planning secretary said Monday.
Arsenio Balisacan said preliminary data showed that 74% of the estimated damage from natural disasters in the country last year came in the farm sector, primarily affecting rice. The natural disasters include extreme weather caused by global warming, he said.
“We expect these extreme events and unpredictable phenomena to become the new normal,” Mr. Balisican told a workshop on efforts to address the impact of climate change in agriculture.
No government regulation! Woo hoo. A Libertarian paradise (unless you need to take a shower, drink water, wash your clothes, make dinner or wash your face).
On January 10, 2010, President Obama said,
“I have no intention of sending U.S. boots on the ground in these regions,” Obama told People magazine, referring to Yemen and Somalia.
Yesterday we learned that:
The U.S. military secretly sent a small team of advisors to Somalia last month to assist with operations against militants, the first time U.S. troops have been stationed there since two helicopters were shot down and 18 American soldiers were killed in 1993.
The Americans also are helping Somalia’s fledgling security forces, which have struggled to assert control beyond Mogadishu and have often been the target of fierce attacks from the Shabab, an Islamic militant group with ties to Al Qaeda that ruled large parts of southern Somalia before being driven from power by the African force.
Though the initial advisor presence is small, a senior Defense Department official said the U.S. was hoping to expand it in the coming year, signaling the possible return of a permanent U.S. presence in Somalia two decades after the battle recounted in the movie “Black Hawk Down” drove the U.S. military out.
Ah yes. A “small team of advisors.” Those four words should send a chill down our collective spine. That’s how the U.S. involvement in Vietnam started too:
The U.S. military advisory effort in Vietnam had a modest beginning in September 1950, when the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam, was established in Saigon. Its mission was to supervise the issuance and employment of $10 million of military equipment to support French legionnaires in their effort to combat Viet Minh forces. By 1953 the amount of U.S. military aid had jumped to over $350 million and was used to replace the badly worn World War II vintage equipment that France, still suffering economically from the devastation of that war, was still using.
My Tweet of the Day
Here’s the article linked to in the tweet: Fox’s Benghazi Expert Endorsed Assassinating Obama Last Week.
I remember seeing Michael Scheuer interviewed over the years. Lately, he really seems to have gone off his rocker. But hey, if he thinks it’d be cool to assassinate the president, Fox is bound to love him.
Regular readers of this site know I have serious disagreements with President Obama but this is ridiculous. Here’s an article from the Washington Post (it’s on today’s front page) about Sasha and Malia Obama growing up, as young human beings tend to do, and it’s titled: Growing Proof of the Limits of Presidential Power:
I mean, it’s astonishing how the ahem — “liberal media” — twists into knots to find ways to make Obama look impotent.
If you think NAFTA was a bad idea and that it has had a disastrous effect on We the People in the United States (and the world), you’ll hate the TPP, the so-called “Trans-Pacific Partnership.“
Obama and his corporate buddies are negotiating a deal (the TPP) behind closed doors and in virtual secrecy that will benefit corporations and screw We the People (of every country). Over and above that, Obama wants congress to grant him “fast track” so he can sign whatever comes of the talks without any input from our representatives, the very people who are responsible for drafting and signing trade agreements.
The TPP is essentially a corporate takeover of the planet.
This is a very big deal. It will pop up early next year and again, We the People must fight back against this global takeover (more on that later); we must make the people in congress who supposedly represent us say no.
The fear is they’ll go along with Obama because they too are owned by the corporatocracy.
When is enough, enough?
What the hell:
Civil Rights Leaders to Hit Obama on Judges
President Barack Obama has upset Rep. John Lewis and other civil rights leaders by ignoring their input in picking four nominees to fill vacancies on the federal bench in Georgia.
On Monday, Lewis and fellow presidential medal of freedom winners Joseph Lowery and C.T. Vivian are expected to ask Obama to withdraw his nominees — a demand that is unlikely to be met — amid concerns that about the judges’ records and convictions on matters of importance to African Americans, as well as Obama’s process for selecting them.
The White House cleared three of the judges — Mark Cohen, Eleanor Ross, and Michael Boggs — with GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss as part of a deal to fill two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, according to reports in a legal journal called the Daily Report and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The NSA spied on — get this — UNICEF.
Back in the 60s, on Halloween, I trick or treated for UNICEF. A penny here, a dime there and once in a while a quarter or wow, a dollar. I was helping to end the suffering of kids on the other side of the world.
H/t to my parents for getting me involved in that.
Now I’ve come to learn that the NSA sees UNICEF as a threat. Really? According to the NSA, everything and everyone’s a freakin’ threat.
What happened to the once-confident, proud United States of America? Now we’re a paranoid bunch of law-breaking scardey cats:
British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal.
The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations development programme, the UN’s children’s charity Unicef.
What’s up is down: What good is it having a “Constitutional lawyer” as President when he has this kind of reputation?
A must read:
The White House-based press corps was prohibited from photographing Mr. Obama on his first day at work in January 2009. Instead, a set of carefully vetted images was released. Since then the press has been allowed to photograph him alone in the Oval Office only twice: in 2009 and in 2010, both times when he was speaking on the phone. Pictures of him at work with his staff in the Oval Office — activities to which previous administrations routinely granted access — have never been allowed.
The official photographs the White House hands out are but visual news releases. Taken by government employees (mostly former photojournalists), they are well composed, compelling and even intimate glimpses of presidential life. They also show the president in the best possible light, as you’d expect from an administration highly conscious of the power of the image at a time of instant sharing of photos and videos.
By no stretch of the imagination are these images journalism. Rather, they propagate an idealized portrayal of events on Pennsylvania Avenue.
If you take this practice to its logical conclusion, why have news conferences? Why give reporters any access to the White House? It would be easier to just have a daily statement from the president (like his recorded weekly video address) and call it a day. Repressive governments do this all the time.
It’s shocking to me that a Democrat and a constitutional lawyer no less, would be the first to employ this dangerous precedent of shielding from We the People the man who works for We the People, lives in We the People’s house and is paid by We the People.
What is the president now? A king?
New White House Adviser Forced to Recuse Himself From the Keystone LX Pipeline Issue Because He’s AGAINST It
The Big Question: If a newly-appointed adviser to President Obama is forced to recuse himself from the Keystone XL pipeline issue because he’s against it, why aren’t advisers and others who are for it made to recuse themselves too?
(I met John Podesta in July, 2004 at the premiere of Outfoxed at The New School in New York City. I don’t think the guy has an ounce of fat on his body. He must be a runner.)
Historian Piero Gleijeses, author of the new book, “Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991,” was a guest on DemocracyNow! today. He was on to talk about, “the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s memorial.” This is what he had to say about Obama and Obama shaking Raul Castro’s hand:
The problem with Obama is that his speeches are good, his gestures are good, but there is no follow-up. So, unfortunately, it is just a gesture, a long-overdue gesture that does not change a shameful U.S. policy.
Agree x 1000.
This is happened yesterday:
Meanwhile, there’s this from today:
Uh oh. It looks like Fox and Limbaugh and all the rabid wingers who go out of their way to make even the slightest blip having to do with Barack Obama an impeachable offense have something new to sink their teeth into today:
Sunny Obama, the second Portuguese water dog the Obamas adopted in August, was part of a minor incident in which she caused a 2-year-old White House guest Ashtyn Gardner to fall over.
Sunny jumped up on the toddler during the 2013 White House Holiday Press Preview, in which First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the White House’s holiday decorations with families of military service members. Ashtyn was there with her father, John Gardner, a member of the Navy who later said that Ashtyn was fine.
Both Sunny and Bo, the Obama’s other Portuguese water dog, remained in the room afterward and there were no other incidents. Sunny apologized right after the incident by licking Ashtyn’s face.
How long will it be before this becomes, “Obama’s dog mauls sweet, little, innocent 2-year-old girl?”
I want to say this is tongue-in-cheek but hey, I wouldn’t put it past them.
Obama set a new precedent last month when it comes to making his presidency a king-like thing. Obama banned photographers from taking pictures inside the White House. Photos will now be released by the “official White House photographer,” Pete Sousa.
Translation: The White House will only release photos that show Obama in a good light. A rawer translation: We’re talking propaganda. Obama will look good no matter what.
The below news outlets think that’s wrong and bravo to them. Again, Obama works for us, we pay his salary, he lives in our house so what’s the deal Mr. Constitutional Lawyer? HUH?
A coalition of press organizations, including ASNE and APME, delivered the following letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Nov. 21 as a way to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White house.
November 21, 2013
Jay CarneyPress SecretaryThe White HouseVIA HAND DELIVERYDear Mr. Carney:We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further.Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.All of the following events, with the exception of the McCain-Graham meeting, were reported as “read-outs” by the White House with “official” White House photo(s) attached. They illustrate the troubling breadth of the restrictions placed upon newsgathering by the White House to record governmental activity of undisputed and wide public interest:• On July 10, 2013, the President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.• On July 11, 2013, the President met with the Co-Chairs of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.• On July 29, 2013, the President met with former Secretary of State Clinton (White House photo also distributed via Twitter).• On July 30, 2013, the President and Vice President met with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.• On August 26, 2013, the President met with African-American Faith Leaders.• On September 2, 2013, the President met with Senators McCain and Graham.• On October. 11, 2013, the President and family members met with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person of great public interest.While certain of these events may appear “private” in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private.The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities. Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercut the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with thepress.Moreover, these restrictions raise constitutional concerns. As the Supreme Court has stated, the First Amendment protects “the public and the press from abridgment of their rights of access to information about the operation of their government,” Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 584 (1980). The fact that there is no access whatsoever only heightens those concerns. As one court has noted in considering a similar restriction: “The total exclusion of television representatives from White House pool coverage denies the public and the press their limited right of access, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Cable News Network, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. 518 F.Supp. 1238, 1245 (N.D. GA 1981).The organizations and individuals signing this letter strongly believe that imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. We consider this a most serious matter and urge you to provide appropriate access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events in which the President participates.Again, we see this letter as the first step toward restoring full press access to these events. Accordingly, we request an immediate meeting with you in order to resolve this very serious situation. We ask that you contact Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and Sam Feist, current television pool chair, to set up the meeting.Thank you.ABC NewsAgence France-PresseAmerican Society of News EditorsAmerican Society of Media PhotographersAssociated PressAssociated Press Media EditorsAssociated Press Photo ManagersAssociation of Alternative NewsmediaAssociation of Opinion JournalistsBloomberg NewsCBS NewsCNNDow Jones & Company, Inc.Fox News ChannelGannett Co., Inc.Getty ImagesLee Enterprises, IncorporatedThe McClatchy CompanyMcClatchy-Tribune Information ServicesNational Press ClubNational Press Photographers AssociationNBC NewsNew England First Amendment CoalitionNews Media CoalitionNewspaper Association of AmericaThe New York Times CompanyOnline News AssociationProfessional Photographers of AmericaRadio Television Digital News AssociationRegional Reporters AssociationThe Reporters Committee for Freedom of the PressReutersSociety of Professional JournalistsTribune CompanyThe Washington PostWhite House Correspondents’ AssociationWhite House News Photographers AssociationYahoo! Inc.