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Letters: Journalists have rights -- and responsibilities

May 16, 2013

Re "Journalists' records secretly collected," May 14

With any right there are associated responsibilities and restrictions. The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms — well, not if you are a convicted felon or criminally insane. The 1st Amendment prohibits abridging the freedom of the press. I assume that does not include publishing my Social Security number or my IRA account number and password.

The Associated Press' reporting of the details of a foiled terrorist plot to bring down an aircraft is not holding the government accountable. Instead, it endangers the CIA operatives in Yemen who stopped the bombing. As a reader, I would not feel victimized if I didn't know this.

When the media accept their responsibility not to report leaked classified information, there will be no need for the government to seize the records of news agencies.

Arthur Klimeck

San Pedro

It would be helpful for the AP if Republicans had not filibustered the proposed reporter shield law in 2008. This legislation would have specifically prohibited the kinds of abuses being visited upon the AP.

When the bill was in the House, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), now in high dudgeon over the matter, was one of only 21 representatives to vote against protecting reporters' sources.

Kevin P. Smith

Newbury Park


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