Veteran New York Times Reporter: “This Is Most Closed, Control-Freak Administration I’ve Ever Covered”

Seasoned CBS News Anchor: “Whenever I’m Asked What Is The Most Manipulative And Secretive Administration I’ve Covered, I Always Say It’s The One In Office Now”

American constitutional experts say that Obama is worse than Nixon.

The government has taken to protecting criminal wrongdoing by attacking whistleblowers … and any  journalists who have the nerve to report on the beans spilled by the whistleblowers.  (The government has also repealed long-standing laws against using propaganda against Americans on U.S. soil, and the government is manipulating social media – more proof here and here).

The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined.

And it goes out of its way to smear whistleblowers, threaten reporters who discuss whistleblower information and harass honest analysts.

Journalism is not only being criminalized in America, but investigative reporting is actually treated like terrorism.

The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge

After the government’s spying on the Associated Press made it clear to everyone that the government is trying to put a chill journalism, the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweek tweeted:

Serious idea. Instead of calling it Obama’s war on whistleblowers, let’s just call it what it is: Obama’s war on journalism.

Moreover:

  • The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officersbloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
  • In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)

And the American government has been instrumental in locking up journalists in America (and here), Yemen and elsewhere for the crime of embarrassing the U.S. government.

Moreover, while the Obama administration is spying on everyone in the country – it is at the same time the most secretive administration ever (background). That’s despite Obama saying he’s running the most transparent administration ever.

The Washington Post reports:

With the passage of the Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a vast expansion of intelligence agencies and their powers, the aggressive exploitation of intrusive digital surveillance capabilities, the excessive classification of public documents and officials’ sophisticated control of the news media’s access to the workings of government, journalists who cover national security are facing vast and unprecedented challenges in their efforts to hold the government accountable to its citizens. They find that government officials are increasingly fearful of talking to them, and they worry that their communications with sources can be monitored at any time.So what are they doing? Many reporters covering national security and government policy in Washington these days are taking precautions to keep their sources from becoming casualties in the Obama administration’s war on leaks. They and their remaining government sources often avoid telephone conversations and e-mail exchanges, arranging furtive one-on-one meetings instead. A few news organizations have even set up separate computer networks and safe rooms for journalists trained in encryption and other ways to thwart surveillance.

“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, a nonprofit accountability news organization. “It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for government to monitor those contacts.”

“We have to think more about when we use cellphones, when we use e-mail and when we need to meet sources in person,” said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press. “We need to be more and more aware that government can track our work without talking to our reporters, without letting us know.”

These concerns, expressed by numerous journalists I interviewed, are well-founded. Relying on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was rarely invoked before President Obama took office, this administration has secretly used the phone and e-mail records of government officials and reporters to identify and prosecute government sources for national security stories.

***

In addition to ongoing leak investigations, six government employees and two contractors, including fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have been prosecuted since 2009 under the Espionage Act for providing information to reporters about, among other subjects, the NSA’s communications surveillance, the CIA’s aggressive interrogation of terrorism suspects and, in the case of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, diplomatic cables and Iraq and Afghanistan war documents.

***

The Obama administration has drawn a dubious distinction between whistleblowing that reveals bureaucratic waste or fraud, and leaks to the news media about unexamined secret government policies and activities; it punishes the latter as espionage.

***

Every disclosure to the press of classified information now triggers a leak investigation, said Washington Post national news editor Cameron Barr. “Investigations can be done electronically. They don’t need to compel journalists to reveal sources.”

The Post’s Justice Department reporter, Sari Horwitz, said a Justice official told her that “access to e-mail, phone records and cellphones make it easier to do now.”

After the New York Times published a 2012 story by David E. Sanger about covert cyberattacks by the United States and Israel against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, federal prosecutors and the FBI questioned scores of officials throughout the government who were identified in computer analyses of phone, text and e-mail records as having contact with Sanger.

“A memo went out from the chief of staff a year ago to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any e-mail, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me,” Sanger said. As a result, longtime sources no longer talk to him. “They tell me: ‘David, I love you, but don’t e-mail me. Let’s don’t chat until this blows over.’ ”

Sanger, who has worked for the Times in Washington for two decades, said, “This is most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

***

A survey of government departments and agencies this summer by the Washington bureau of McClatchy newspapers found that they had wide latitude in defining what kinds of behavior constitute a threat. “Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material,” it reported in June. “They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for ‘high-risk persons or behaviors’ among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.”

Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told me that the Insider Threat Program has already “created internal surveillance, heightened a degree of paranoia in government and made people conscious of contacts with the public, advocates and the press.”

***

“People think they’re looking at reporters’ records,” Post national security reporter Dana Priest told me. “I’m writing fewer things in e-mail. I’m even afraid to tell officials what I want to talk about because it’s all going into one giant computer.”

***

“Whenever I’m asked what is the most manipulative and secretive administration I’ve covered, I always say it’s the one in office now,” Bob Schieffer, CBS News anchor and chief Washington correspondent, told me. “Every administration learns from the previous administration. They become more secretive and put tighter clamps on information. This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.”

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  • Carl_Herman

    Awesome, GW; thank you. I’ll keep this and reference it to document media manipulation/propaganda.

  • jadan

    Obama is a highly skilled liar and manipulator. These are prized qualities in an intelligence operative. Obama is a CIA operative. His mother was CIA and both her parents were CIA. CIA is a cult: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. He doesn’t have a background as you and I do, he has a “legend”. Please read Wayne Madsen’s book, The Manufacturing of a President. If these claims seem too outrageous, Madsen’s investigation will convince you. A tidbit: Republicans made quite a stink about Obama, the community organizer in Chicago, and all his radical associations. But it never occurred to them that he was working undercover. He’s quite the actor. Is there any hint of radical or even progressive ideology in his political agenda? He does very well at seeming to be what he is not. This is the talent of spies and narks and politicians a special breed of human lacking in all integrity.

  • gozounlimited

    Our corporate government abandoned procedure in favor of terroristic fear mongering and abdication of responsibility by creating a climate of fear and loathing. Anything or anyone who might be associated with the Federalies is despised by the exponentially growing, awakening masses.

    On the individual level. 3,000 truckers plan to descend on Washington, D.C. on October 11th, to protest the NDAA’s indefinite detention without trial provision (signed into law by President Obama)
    as well as to raise awareness for what theyperceive as continued Obama administration support for radical Islamic factions in Egypt and Syria. Despite the near mainstream media blackout of the truckers’ plan, it could shut down the entire city. …. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amr7dYddxwI

    On the state level, the Arizona State Government is weighing options to defy the Obama
    Administration and the Wisconsin Governor is Defying Obama’s Shutdown Orders. Maine Governor Paul LaPage recently signed an executive order (EO) in which the Governor declared that the public schools in Maine are locally controlled and that student’s personal information will not be shared with any corporations nor any federal agencies.

    Vietnam veterans defied shutdown orders at the Vietnam Memorial last week. There were reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam War veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point this past Friday. The veterans went around the
    barricade until more police showed up in force, NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported.

    We have governors of states, brave veterans, and average people defying the federal government. What does all of this mean? It means that the worm has turned and America is finally beginning to stand up and say no to the tyrants who comprise the minions which serve the central bankers
    who have hijacked our government. It means that America has just entered a major shift in its attitude towards its government. The events of civil disobedience, occurring over the past week cannot be overstated…… http://www.activistpost.com/2013/10/america-is-rapidly-approaching-its-date.html#more

    • gozounlimited

      Zen Gardner

      These power crazed would be rulers don’t own the earth. They don’t own you and me. They don’t own all their stupid secret symbols. They don’t own the present, they don’t own the future. They don’t even own themselves.

      They’re usurpers, in every sense of the word. And absolutely nothing to fear.

      That these invading power freaks striving to control the world should try to lay claim to some secret knowledge and power source that is superior to everything else is a fraud. That they think they can bring on world changing events that result in national clampdowns and population reduction is their personal nightmare in the making.

      It’s only true if we submit to it. Our validation and obeisance affirm their intentions. Without that it would immediately crumble into dust.

      Lies have no power unless believed. That’s the power of the awakening…. Read More: http://www.zengardner.com/dont-buy-apocalypse/

  • cougar71

    Obama has shown nothing but contempt for the US Constitution. Since he would like nothing more than becoming a dictator, how about he resign and move to South America and take up where Hugo Chavez left off?

  • Crabby

    This is just another way Satan is deceiving the people of the Earth. The prince of this world will do anything to harass everyone out of the Salvation that The Lord gives freely. The beginning of the road to heaven is to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of “Speaking in other Tongues”. (Mark 16:15-20). Once you have that experience, you should read the Bible everyday to find out more about walking in the Spirit. Also to pray in Tongues every day is recommended. Attend a church which teaches this Doctrine and you’ll be on solid ground (ask the person who told you about this). Then go out and duplicate your experience (being a faithful steward). As you grow in Faith, you’ll get more people into the Body of Christ and on the last day, be raised up to meet the Lord in the Air.

 

 

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