When the Justice Department launched its investigation of alleged
leaks of national security information by the Obama administration a
year ago, we were skeptical. The history of such probes is mainly a tale
of dead ends and unintended negative consequences. That this effort to
criminalize a leak was launched amid an election-year uproar seemed
Our forebodings have been borne out with the revelation that federal prosecutors have undertaken a broad sweep of the Associated Press’s phone records.
Whatever national-security enhancement this was intended to achieve
seems likely to be outweighed by the damage to press freedom and