Tag: Obama administration

Secrecy, Intimidation and the Obama Administration

A recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists says the Obama administration is the most aggressive administration to pursue leaks to journalists since the Nixon administration’s plumbers unit during the Watergate investigation.

This from a president that promised more openness in government while he was running for election in 2008.

Information provided from the Obama administration generally falls into the category of that which makes the administration look good.

Otherwise, it’s overclassify information, nearly unprecedented attempts to control leaks and significant surveillance on journalists to attempt to intimidate them and learn the identity of their sources.

Defending the First Amendment

The Obama administration’s attack on the First Amendment took a predictable turn recently when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated the administration’s use of national security concerns in justifying White House investigations of journalists.

In attempting to justify the Justice Department’s seizing of reporters’ phone records and emails, Carney said, “The president believes it’s important that we find the proper balance between the need—absolute need to protect our secrets and to prevent leaks that can jeopardize the lives of Americans and can jeopardize our national security interests on the one hand and the need for—to defend the First Amendment and protect the ability of reporters to pursue investigative journalism.”

The original attack on the First Amendment, with the Sedition Acts way back in 1798, made it illegal for persons to criticize the administration and/or government, even if the criticism was true. The acts were passed by the Federalist Congress in the mistaken impression that they were combating anarchy – a threat to national security.