Jun 10, 2013
Top U.S. journalists have pointed out that threatened prosecutions and spying on journalists are having a chilling effect on reporting about illegal acts committed by the U.S. government.
The Obama administration snooped into Associated Press phone records and recently threatened to prosecute Fox News reporter James Rosen for doing the job of a reporter. According to Slate Magazine, the U.S. government has never successfully prosecuted a reporter for disseminating leaked information.
The “leak” trial of Private Bradley Manning is another example. He faces life in prison for leaking the truth that the U.S. government was committing war crimes.
One former employee at the National Security Agency (NSA), Thomas Drake, leaked information about billions of dollars in government waste and law violations. He faced a life sentence until charges were dropped in 2011.
To date, the Obama administration has launched more leak prosecutions than any other presidential administration.
When freedom of speech comes under attack, it becomes harder to defend all other civil rights.
The chilling message being sent to journalists and to U.S. citizens is clear – the so-called public U.S. government intends to function in secret and in private and reporters are not allowed to report on it.