Mr. Obama as the Imperial President, royal gown and all
In an article titled, In Obama’s war on leaks, reporters fight back, Leonard Downie, former editor of the Washington Post, quotes reporter after reporter expressing serious concerns about the ‘chilling’ effect Mr. Obama’s war on leaks is having on free speech and the First Amendment. He might have titled it Obama’s war on journalists because that is what it is.
One NY Times writer commented, “This is [the] most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”
Excerpts from the article:
David Sanger, the New York Times writer whose article on a secret cyberattack against Iran launched a leak investigation, described what had happened to him:
“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 [the] most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”
Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for attorney general Eric Holder, candidly told Downie that technology has made it easier than ever for the government to monitor and snuff out leaks:
“Before, you needed to have the leaker admit it, which doesn’t happen,” Miller added, “or the reporter to testify about it, which doesn’t happen.”
To my astonishment, he quotes veteran journalist, R. Jeffrey Smith, as having deep concerns about leaving a digital trail as he does his job without mentioning the word tyranny at the same time.
He goes on to quote AP’s Oreskes:
“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.”
Downie ends the article with this stunning paragraph:
“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.
Still, Schieffer, though he is losing his First Amendment rights, continues to be one of Barack Obama’s ardent supporters.
Obama is tightening the screws on the press as any tyrant in a Banana Republic would do.
The AP has been calling attention to it all the while they demonize Obama’s opponents and laud the president. They have confused who their real enemies are.
In May, Downie wrote an article titled, Obama’s war on leaks undermines investigative journalism.
Well, that’s the idea, isn’t it?
No one seems to be listening. The AP and James Rosen scandals are very serious but didn’t create anywhere near the blowback they should have created. Why, for instance, is Eric Holder still the Attorney General after covertly and illegally authorizing wire taps on the AP and James Rosen?
Downie said that Barack Obama promised his government would be the most open and transparent in American history.
Obviously this man believed Barack but one has to wonder why.
Downie added this:
Recently, while stating that he [Obama] makes “no apologies” for his Justice Department’s investigations into suspected leaks of classified information, the president added that “a free press, free expression and the open flow of information helps hold me accountable, helps hold our government accountable and helps our democracy function.” Then, in his National Defense University speech Thursday, Obama said he was “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”
Downie says in the article that Obama’s escalating war on leaks – ‘the most militant since Nixon – has disregarded the First Amendment…’
He goes on to talk about the classifying on non-classified information, the intimidation of government sources of information, denial of Freedom of Information Acts, all on the grounds of national security. The AP is used as an example of an especially ‘chilling’ event and he goes into that in depth. He also goes into the James Rosen case, saying that it appeared to put Rosen in ‘unprecedented jeopardy for doing his job’ as a journalist although Obama said ‘journalists should not be at risk for doing their job’ all the while he was adamant about pursuing government officials who he said ‘break the law.’
Obama does that in every area of government. Why haven’t journalists noticed?
Whistleblowers have no chance in this administration and government personnel have been subjected to accusatory interviews and lie detector tests, something Downie points out.
Sounds like what has been happening to would-be Benghazi witnesses but how much does the mainstream report on that? Very little!
Many journalists see the covert AP spying as an attempt to intimidate journalists and their sources and they would be correct.
“I really don’t know what their motive is,” AP President Gary Pruitt said on “Face the Nation.” But, he added, “I know what the message being sent is: If you talk to the press, we’re going to go after you.”
Downie also wrote that Obama is ignoring journalists for friendly bloggers which amounts to him reporting on himself.
Meanwhile the AP publishes story after story blaming Republicans for most everything, the shutdown being most recent. They overwhelmingly favor Democrats in their reporting. They protect Obama and he won’t even recognize their First Amendment rights.
The Associated Press doesn’t know who their real enemy is and they don’t seem to recognize tyranny when it stares them in the face. The Democrats are no longer the ‘liberal’ party. They are the party of statism.