The Military Reporters & Editors Association is outraged to learn that the Justice Department targeted our respected colleague Barbara Starr by seizing her phone and email records.
A free press is so important to democracy that our Founders rightfully enshrined the right to free speech in the First Amendment. When government officials fail to respect that right, they betray the Constitution.
Whatever the Justice Department’s rationale for seizing reporters’ personal records, such an attack on the First Amendment is clearly meant to prevent sources from talking to journalists, creating a chilling effect on newsgathering.
We call on Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide a full explanation of why the Justice Department subpoenaed the personal records of Starr and other reporters.
We also request that the Defense Department take every effort to protect the communications of all the reporters who cover the building.
No administration has the right to intimidate journalists. Democracy cannot survive without an open and public discourse.
Military Reporters & Editors Association