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Thursday, August 1, 2013

"President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined"

Posted by on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

That was a prominent sentence in Julian Assange's statement on the Bradley Manning verdict.

ProPublica has a breakdown of that history—who was accused of leaking defense information to whom and when. Here's the preamble:

Despite promises to strengthen protections for whistleblowers, the Obama administration has launched an aggressive crackdown on government employees who have leaked national security information to the press.

With charges filed against NSA leaker Edward Snowden this June, the administration has brought a total of seven cases under the Espionage Act, which dates from World War I and criminalizes disclosing information “relating to the national defense.” Prior to the current administration, there had been only three known cases resulting in indictments in which the Espionage Act was used to prosecute government officials for leaks.

The administration has also targeted journalists. In May, it was revealed that the Department of Justice had secretly seized AP reporters’ phone records while investigating a potential CIA leak, and targeted a Fox News reporter as part of a criminal leak case (outlined below). No journalist has been charged with a crime. But the news prompted an outcry that Obama’s hard line on leaks could have a "chilling effect" on investigative reporting that depends on inside sources.

The timeline begins with the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Thanks to Slog tipper Greg.


Comments (14) RSS

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where is Romney when we need someone to save the US Constitution?
Posted by White Horse on August 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
I just read on reddit that people who Google certain cooking untensils will get storm troopers raiding their home.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
yeah, and the administration scrubbed the policy from his campaign website retroactively.

I'm identify as a progressive, but have also always identified more as a realist. So shit like this DOES make me want to pull a Palin "How's that hopey-changey stuff working out for you?" to a certain obnoxious obama super-supporter or two
Posted by six five on August 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 4
Posted by Just Jeff on August 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
It doesn't matter what you think.

As I said, best Republican President ever is Obama.

Now, about that purchase you made from Moscow, Congressman ... for your mistress ... we'd like you to vote this way or your wife and the public might find out next election.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
So did previous administrations NOT bring legal action against whistleblowers?...

Or did they simply have whistleblowers killed, their deaths made to look like suicides/accidents, and the stories buried?

I mean, not to sound looney... but sometimes conspiracies really do happen, and I wouldn't put it past certain administration thugs (Cheney and Kissinger come to mind) to do exactly that.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 7
Blaming Obama is still a distraction from truths which are going on. 1) Does anyone really think that McCain or Romney would have done much different? 2) The vector towards internet control has been quite clear for a while now, no matter who's been in the white house. Some groundwork was laid during the Clinton years, accelerated greatly during the "OMG terrorist a-rabs" years of Bush/Cheney, and O is simply there to seal the deal. His record in the Senate indicated pretty clearly he had no problem w/ gov't spying. 3) It seems clear that it makes no difference who is in the WH, there is definitely a group of unelected people who have staked out a power base & will use it against both the American people & the politicians they elect.

This has happened before, on a much smaller scale, w/ Hoover & the FBI. No president could dislodge him, as he had the goods on all of them. Right now, there is no major personality showing itself, which leads me to believe that it's rather a group, instead of one individual. But I'm only guessing here, trying to figure out from the shadows on the wall.

My main point here is that democracy is so broken in America right now, w/ gerrymandering and few limits on monetary influence, that it will take decades to correct it. In the meantime, there are other groups involved, unelected & ignored by the media, that are working to alter America drastically to a country that is far more controllable. The major media is quite tame, you won't see this on tv. Their biggest threat is the internet, where information flows rapidly and easily. I think this has far less to do w/ spying and more to do w/ controlling the flow of that information. And I sincerely doubt that any president, no matter what stripe, can or will get in the way of that.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on August 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
@3, you shouldn't be quoting Palin, as it is Putin of Russia who has finally provided Americans with HOPE AND CHANGE!
Posted by sgt_doom on August 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 9
Rape anyone lately Assange?
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on August 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
@7, "The major media is quite tame, you won't see this on tv. "

Wherever did you get that idea???

This is akin to pointing out that grass is green and the sky is blue!
Posted by sgt_doom on August 1, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@11 actually, the grass is brown or tan and the sky is grey.

Or at least it is in Seattle.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 13

If he's innocent then why won't he face his accusers? I don't have time to read your lengthy dissertation.
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on August 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
venomlash 14
Frankly, I'm not quite worried about this. The worst thing the government's going to learn from snooping in my Internets is that I find monster girl ecchi amusing (if not actually arousing) and that I ripped off a malfunctioning vending machine in high school.
Sure, Uncle Sam could in theory dig up embarrassing stuff on any of us. But the amount of effort needed to do things that way compared with the relative ease of harassing someone they don't like in more conventional ways (IRS audit, anyone?)'s sound and fury at this point. The Republican Party WANTS us to make a big deal out of this instead of riding their pasty white asses about their refusal to let anything get accomplished.
Posted by venomlash on August 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM · Report this

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