Government Deals with Embarrassing Information By Targeting
Whistleblowers … and Journalists

Time Magazine's senior national correspondent Micheal Grunwald tweeted
on Saturday evening (08.17.13):

I can't wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out
[Wikileaks founder] Julian Assange

What should we make of his statement?  It's not Grunwald as an
individual … it's the mindset of the entire political class.

Under both Bush and Obama, when bad government policy leads to bad
results, the government manipulates the data … instead of changing
policy
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/when-bad-government-policy-leads\
-to-bad-results-the-government-manipulates-the-data-instead-of-correctin\
g-the-policy.html> .

As part of that effort – on the one hand – "reporters"
who  never criticize the government in more than a superficial fashion
are protected and rewarded
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/mainstream-media-presstitutes-fo\
r-the-rich-and-powerful.html> .  And the government has repealed
long-standing laws against using propaganda against Americans
<http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/12/us_backs_off_propaga\
nda_ban_spreads_government_made_news_to_americans>  on U.S. soil.  And
the government also manipulates social media
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/government-power-being-used-to-s\
tifle-dissent-not-to-keep-us-safe.html> . More proof here
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-soc\
ial-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html>  and here
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/you-know-those-obnoxious-posters\
-who-almost-seem-like-alter-egos-of-the-same-person-they-actually-might-\
be.html> .

On the other hand, the government has taken to protecting criminal
wrongdoing by attacking whistleblowers
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/\
government-protects-criminals-by-prosecuting-whistleblower-who-expose-wr\
ongdoing.html>  … and any journalists who have the nerve to report
on the beans spilled by the whistleblowers.

The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all
other presidents combined
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/obama-has-prosecuted-more-whistl\
eblowers-than-all-other-presidents-combined.html> .

And it goes out of its way to smear whistleblowers
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/07/fda-gathers-personal-information\
-then-smears-whistleblowers-on-faulty-medical-devices.html> , threaten
reporters
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/in-america-journalists-are-consi\
dered-terrorists.html>  who discuss whistleblower information and harass
honest analysts
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/honest-rating-agency-is-punished\
-for-telling-the-truth.html> .

As we noted
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/in-america-journalists-are-consi\
dered-terrorists.html>  last year:

Wikileaks' head Julian Assange could face the death penalty
<http://rt.com/usa/news/usa-assange-wikileaks-extradition-manning/>  for
his heinous crime of leaking whistleblower information which make those
in power uncomfortable … i.e.being a reporter
<http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2012/06/27/julian-assange-pursued-for-\
the-crime-of-practicing-journalism/> .

Establishment figures – such as Andrew Sorkin
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvpXztqqzCc&feature=player_embedded> 
and David Gregory
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTR7Xjw1pAc&feature=player_embedded> 
– have also called for Glenn Greenwald (the reporter who broke NSA
contractor Edward Snowden's story) to be arrested.

Journalism is not only being criminalized
<http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/james-risen-prison\
-journalism-criminalised>  in America, but investigative reporting is
actually treated like terrorism
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/in-america-journalists-are-consi\
dered-terrorists.html> .

The government admits that journalists could be targeted with
counter-terrorism laws
<http://verdict.justia.com/2012/07/02/journalists-protesters-and-other-t\
errorist-threats>  (and here
<http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/316751-snowden-nsa-tar\
geted-journalists-critical-of-government-after-911> ). For example,
after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi
Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the
government to enjoin the NDAA's allowance of the indefinite
detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5
times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained
simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government
refused to promise
<http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_victory_for_all_of_us_20120518/> 
that journalists like Hedges won't be thrown in a dungeon for the
rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge

After the government's spying on the Associated Press made it clear
to everyone that the government is trying to put a chill journalism
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/the-bigger-story-behind-the-ap-s\
pying-scandal.html> , the senior national-security correspondent for
Newsweek tweeted <https://twitter.com/EliLake/status/336450435252625408>
:

Serious idea. Instead of calling it Obama's war on whistleblowers,
let's just call it what it is: Obama's war on journalism.

Moreover:

- The Pentagon recently smeared USA Today reporters because they
investigated illegal Pentagon propaganda
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/pentagon-smears-usa-today-report\
ers-for-wait-for-it-investigating-illegal-pentagon-propaganda.html>

- Reporters covering the Occupy protests were targeted for arrest
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/reporters-covering-occupy-wall-s\
treet-are-being-targeted-for-arrest-nationwide.html>

- The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officers
<http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/cheney-libby-named-in-smear-bid/200\
7/01/26/1169788693645.html> , bloggers
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/us/politics/16cole.html?_r=3&src=tptw\
>  and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war

- In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks
expose of the bank's wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank
of America
<http://dailybail.com/home/how-attorney-general-eric-holder-colluded-wit\
h-bank-of-ameri.html>  to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to
assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this
<http://www.salon.com/2011/02/15/hunton_williams_wikileaks_chamber/> )

And the American government has been instrumental in locking up
journalists in America
<http://www.vice.com/read/the-us-government-wants-the-media-to-stop-cove\
ring-barrett-brown>  (and here
<http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/james-risen-prison\
-journalism-criminalised> ),Yemen
<http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/25/yemeni_reporter_who_exposed_us_dr\
one>  and elsewhere for the crime of embarrassing the U.S. government.

Journalists are being killed all over the world
<http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/in-the-ultimate-media-war-govern\
ments-target-reporters.html>  for embarrassing local governments.

(Even top U.S. government wonder whether the same thing is happening
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/michael-hastings-car-hacked_n_\
3492339.html>  in America.)
Postscript: Grunwald subsequently deleted the tweet, because it helped
Assange's supporters
<https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/368885744250519552> . But the
problem was never Grunwald as an individual … but the commitment of
the entire elite political class to silence voices of dissent

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