Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

Committee to Protect Journalists issues scathing report on Obama administration

By (about the author)     Permalink
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 10/10/13

Become a Fan
  (115 fans)
Obama's anti-press measures "are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration"

Barack Obama at the White House
Barack Obama at the White House Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

It's hardly news that the Obama administration is intensely and, in many respects, unprecedentedly hostile toward the news-gathering process. Even the most Obama-friendly journals have warned of what they call "Obama's war on whistleblowers." James Goodale, the former general counsel of the New York Times during its epic fights with the Nixon administration, recently observed that "President Obama wants to criminalize the reporting of national security information" and added: "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom."

Still, a new report released today by the highly respected Committee to Protect Journalists -- its first-ever on press freedoms in the US -- powerfully underscores just how extreme is the threat to press freedom posed by this administration. Written by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr., the report offers a comprehensive survey of the multiple ways that the Obama presidency has ushered in a paralyzing climate of fear for journalists and sources alike, one that severely threatens the news-gathering process.

The first sentence: "In the Obama administration's Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press." Among the most shameful aspects of the Obama record:

"Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press -- compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters' phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being 'an aider, abettor and/or conspirator' of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail."

It goes on to detail how NSA revelations have made journalists and sources petrified even to speak with one another for fear they are being surveilled:

"'I worry now about calling somebody because the contact can be found out through a check of phone records or e-mails,' said veteran national security journalist R. Jeffrey Smith of the Center for Public Integrity, an influential nonprofit government accountability news organization in Washington. 'It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for the government to monitor those contacts,' he said."

Please go to The Guardian to read the rest of this article.

Related matter

Along with David Miranda, I testified yesterday before a Committee of the Brazilian Senate investigating NSA spying, and beyond our latest revelations about economic spying aimed at Brazil, one of the issues discussed was the war on press freedoms being waged by the US and UK governments to prevent reporting of these stories. The Guardian, via Reuters, has a two-minute video with an excerpt of my testimony on that issue.

 

For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

US investigates possible WikiLeaks leaker for "communicating with the enemy"

Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control

The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness"

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

The Remarkable, Unfathomable Ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

All those journalists who are now crying foul - wh... by Paul Sedkowski on Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 at 2:19:47 PM