U.S. Points Out that Only Tyrants Treat Journalists As Terrorists … While Doing the Exact Same Thing

U.S. and U.K. Attack Independent Journalists

The U.S. government is targeting whistleblowers in order to keep its hypocrisy secret … so that it can keep on doing the opposite of what it tells other countries to do.

As part of this effort to suppress information which would reveal the government’s hypocrisy, the American government – like the British government – is treating journalists as terrorists.

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.


  • 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.

It’s Only Tyrannical When Others Do It

The U.S. State Department correctly noted in April:

Some governments are too weak or unwilling to protect journalists and media outlets. Many others exploit or create criminal libel or defamation or blasphemy laws in their favor. They misuse terrorism laws to prosecute and imprison journalists. They pressure media outlets to shut down by causing crippling financial damage. They buy or nationalize media outlets to suppress different viewpoints. They filter or shut down access to the Internet. They detain and harass – and worse.

And the State Department rightly announced last year:

We are deeply concerned about the Ethiopian government’s conviction of a number of journalists and opposition members under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. This practice raises serious questions and concerns about the intent of the law, and about the sanctity of Ethiopians’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

The arrest of journalists has a chilling effect on the media and on the right to freedom of expression. We have made clear in our ongoing human rights dialogue with the Ethiopian government that freedom of expression and freedom of the media are fundamental elements of a democratic society.

As Secretary Clinton has said, “When a free media is under attack anywhere, all human rights are under attack everywhere. That is why the United States joins its global partners in calling for the release of all imprisoned journalists in every country across the globe and for the end to intimidation.”

Sounds great … maybe we should start with the U.S. and UK?

The ACLU’s Ben Wizner sums up the American and British governments’ attitude towards journalists:

Relax, everyone. You’re not terrorists unless you try “to influence a government.” Just type what you’re told.

Update: See this analysis by the ACLU’s Trevor Timm.

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  • just some guy…

    Whats good for the goose is not, actually, so good for the gander?
    Yep. That’s America, these days…
    Do as we say, not as we do.

  • ClubToTheHead

    It’s Only Tyrannical When Others Do It
    It’s Only Terrorism When Others Do It

  • Tonto

    Seriously. This blog constantly harps about the need for an educated and informed populace.

    The populace is generally not educated and informed.

    So, when journalists write articles that are misinformed, they are in fact, doing the work of terrorists, by misinforming the populace.

    So, the solution as always, is not what it appears. The solution is, the country FIRST needs an educated and informed body of journalists, which of course is quite impossible due to the rarity of erudite clear thinking among journalists.

    And hence, these ideals in educated and informed journalists and populations are not what exists. In the U.S. we have journalists that are by their very nature, terrorist propagandists. About half of them work for the government trying to combat the misinformation being spread by other journalists, (the other half), who have their own political passions as their driving force. The populace is not educated. Neither is the populace well informed. The populace is confused, worn out and disinterested by the inundation of so many bizarrely different and completely false views of our shared infinitely complex reality. There will be no popular uprising, because journalists of every ilk spend their every waking hour confusing the very populace they also regularly lament, is uneducated and misinformed. There will be no popular uprising also, because the Republic is generally operating in a knowledge vacuum of dis-education and dis-information.

    Those journalists (and would-be journalist-bloggers) that perform the greatest civic service, are constantly re-examining their own conceptions, and finding the human knowledge faults that are embodied therein. Of intellectual necessity they become philosophers, rather than commonly misinformed political ideologues. Most journalists (and almost every would-be journalist-blogger) by their political nature, are not performing a civic service at all, however.

    Raise your hand, Carl Herman.

    • nostrafarious

      Thank you for that narcissistic, arrogant bit of mis/dys-informative rant.

    • TessaC

      This guy wants perfection in darkness. He would prefer everybody just shut up unless you’re qualified….qualified to write…qualified to read. Alternative News doesn’t give a rats ass about your immobilizing comments. It will carry on with educating the masses, informing them of the TRUTH, irregardless of YOUR OWN confusion. I say “Irregardless”, a word which is not a word….yet we still know its meaning. Think on that.

      • Tonto

        It’s all about the blind leading the blind today. My comments mean to liberate others from the ridiculous burden they bear, and to prevent the obfuscating damage they inevitably and invariably impart.

        Honestly, what is the point of reading again and again about how the “1%” have cheated the “99%” out of some ridiculously supposed humanitarian due? Or, reading repeatedly articles about how Edward Snowden is passing supposedly confidential information onto journalists, who then print the latest-CIA-NWO-con thinking it came exclusively from some impossible to believe NSA-spying-whistle-blower?

        The only way not to be used as a tool in this infinitely complex reality, is to first recognize the infinitely complex possibilities concerning what is really going on. And then to cut through the chaff and ask the right questions. The right question about journalists today is, are they educated and informed? They are not. Journalists are clearly being played for suckers and dupes 24/7, worldwide. It’s not just the bubble-headed-bleach-blond types who are getting it wrong and being used as tools in the media.

        The alternative media has been co-opted increasingly and almost completely. Why and how? Because, compared to our infinitely complex reality, the behavior of the alternative media is 100% predictable. And the alternative media is ignorant concerning how they have been used over and over again. In that sense, all reporting in the alternative media is dishearteningly dishonest. The alternative media is not reporting the truth. The alternative media is reporting what the CIA-NWO spooks are releasing through Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and a host of news media outlets that have been contracted to release disinformation.

        An example is, the legalization of dope and decriminalization of drug offenses has been a major goal of the CIA-NWO. The alternative media reports planted CIA-NWO stories about this all the time. It’s thought to be cool, trendy, and what the typically dope-head reader of the alternative media wants to read. Oh, hurray!

        Seeing young kids becoming junkies at an epidemic rate is cool?

    • syd scott

      To Tonto, are you part of the illuminate? thinking like this its you that should be declared a terrorist against the people, we the population have got people like you as marked men,
      when the shit does hit the fan, just keep your mouth zipped we the population have no time for such crap.

  • failedevolution

    “Training” societies in tolerating interceptions