John Ashcroft has decided to get the phone records of two New York Times reporters in an investigation of leaks to them about a planned raid upon, and freezing assets of, Islamic organizations shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

When the Justice Dept. couldn’t obtain them from the Times, the DOJ says they’ll get them “from third parties unlikely to be interested in challenging its authority.” Sounds like the phone (“We don’t care ‘cause we don’t have to”) company to me.

It’s just another example of the loss of freedom we’re suffering under this administration. It’s blatant attempt to intimidate sources who will worry that if they talk to reporters, the DOJ can at any time get records that would expose them. Do we really want John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney and George Bush to have that power?