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American Dream Betrayed

Obama's War On Truth And Transparency

Hey, don't take it from me, and don't take it from Glenn Greenwald if you're buying into the smear campaign against a person who has done some of the most impressive and vital journalism of the last decade - take it from Barton Gellman of the Washington Post:

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A lot of people criticizing Edward Snowden are forgetting that he didn't simply publish classified material on his own, as he could have. He took his documents to real-life journalists with editors and the vetting processes of entire news organizations behind them and submitted to interviews and their judgement about what should and shouldn't be published. And if it somehow bothers you that the Guardian's U.S. edition, incorporated on American soil, is connected to a British company, as if England is an "enemy," well consider that the Washington Post, cheerleaders of the Iraq War among other acts of journalistic malfeasance in favor of power, also published Snowden's claims.

Let's keep the focus where it ought to be.

See also:

* Revealed: The Top Secret Rules That Allow NSA To Use U.S. Data Without A Warrant.

* NSA Can Eavesdrop On Americans' Phone Calls, Documents Show.

* NSA Claims Broad Authority To Monitor Americans' International Calls and E-mails.

* Warrantless Searches: The Court "Oversight" Of NSA Phone Surveillance Is A Joke.

* President Obama/Bush Responds To NSA Spying Scandal.

* Fact-Check: The NSA And 9/11.

Obama: Journalists Are The Enemy
"Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans' phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions," McClatchy reports.

"President Barack Obama's unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of 'insider threat' give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

"Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. 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.

"'Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,' says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy."

See also:

* AP Boss: Sources Won't Talk Anymore.

* AP President Pruitt Accuses DOJ Of Rule Violations In Phone Records Case; Source Intimidation.

* Eric Holder On James Rosen: Weaselly Garbage.

Most Transparent Ever
* "President Obama's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, was approved yesterday by the Senate," the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes.

"As we had urged, however, lawmakers used the approval process to make sure Froman knows they aren't happy with the former USTR's secretive approach to trade agreements.

"Their calls for transparency echo demands EFF and other public interest groups have been making for years in response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements. Earlier this year, for example, EFF joined 24 other civil society groups on a letter to the Trade Representative documenting its abuse of the trade negotiation process and calling for a baseline of transparency."

* "Jay Carney doesn't have an answer for that. He hasn't discussed that subject with the president. He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here]. He refuses to speculate on that. He'll have to get back to you.

"But he appreciates the question.

A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges a reporter's question.

"Since Carney held his first daily briefing with reporters in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room on Feb. 16, 2011, for example, he's used some variation of 'I don't have the answer' more than 1,900 times. In 1,383 cases he referred a question to someone else. But will he at least speculate on hypotheticals? No. In fact, he has refused to do so 525 times.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on June 21, 2013


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