President Barack Obama's Nixonian war on journalism received an ironic seal of approval today in a joint report issued by watchdog groups Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union that points out the obvious in that the very basis of the First Amendment, a free press is well on the way to extinction in The Homeland. The Founding Fathers understood that it was imperative to establish that most important check on the government to restrain the corruption of entrenched power and the ability of journalists to be able to inform the populace of what elected officials were up to at any given time is the cornerstone upon which a free society and a healthy democracy rests. Obama and the rest of the greatest enemies that the American people have faced in US history - a venal and thoroughly rancid gaggle of crooks, liars, perverts, gangsters and prostitutes in the US Congress along with a judicial system that has been sold to the highest bidder - loathe the very concept of a free and unfettered press and have arrayed in 2014 to snuff it out lest it ever challenge their mounting crimes against the republic.
The HRW-ACLU report is entitled "With Liberty to Monitor All" (subtitled How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy) is just the latest example of how decades of political corruption, legal chicanery and an indolent, slothful and willfully ignorant populace have allowed this once great country to be stealthily destroyed from within, the very pillars of the foundation of a once free society eaten away as if by a ravenous army of Formosan termites. The report comes on top of over a year of leaks of documents on the programs and procedures of the unaccountable (and completely enabled by Congress) NSA that were procured by former government contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden. The always fraudulent war on terror has from day one been a war on the American people and there are many within the Washington establishment who want to see him murdered or even worse - Obama probably has a hard on for the day that the targeting coordinates of the man will be delivered to him along with his orange juice and the morning kill list.
From an article on the report written by former Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin (he was rudely run out of town in 2009 when his "White House Watch" column no longer was exposing the lies of the Bush regime) over at the new online magazine The Intercept (you know that it won't be altered unlike stories at NBC) on the report I excerpt the following:
Even before the Snowden revelations, reporters trying to cover important defense, intelligence and counter-terrorism issues were reeling from the effects of unprecedented secrecy and attacks on whistleblowers.
But newfound awareness of the numerous ways the government can follow electronic trails – previously considered the stuff of paranoid fantasy — has led sources to grow considerably more fearful.
“It used to be that leak investigations didn’t get far because it was too hard to uncover the source, but with digital tools it’s just much easier, and sources know that,” said Washington Post contributor Barton Gellman, one of the 46 journalists interviewed for the survey.
Sources are “afraid of the entire weight of the federal government coming down on them,” New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer is quoted as saying. “The added layer of fear makes it so much harder. I can’t count the number of people afraid of the legal implications [of speaking to me].”
Jonathan Landay, a McClatchy Newspapers reporter covering national security and intelligence, told Human Rights Watch that some sources have grown reluctant to talk to him about anything, “even something like, ‘Please explain the rationale for this foreign policy.’ That’s not even dealing with classified material; that’s just educating readers.”
Methods reporters use to avoid surveillance are time-consuming, difficult, off-putting to sources — and ultimately futile, the surveyed journalists reported. “If the government wants to get you, they will,” Washington Post reporter Adam Goldman said.
But when journalists can’t do their jobs, the effect is felt well beyond the profession alone. Insufficiently informed journalism can “undermine effective democratic participation and governance,” the report states.
It is actually one hell of a lot easier to dispense with freedom of the press these days even without the heavy hand of the government applying the garrote and giving it a hard good twist. The top "reporters" and "news" people in America -thanks largely to the massive media consolidation spree that then President Bill Clinton set into motion with the odious Telecommunications Act of 1996 - are largely comprised of a pack of power-suckling careerists, rank sycophants, sleazy on the payroll government shills, self-obsessed celebrity pundits and ghoulish electronic ambulance chasers like the pride of CNN, Nancy Grace.
It is very simple to manufacture consent in America and Nazi propaganda czar Paul Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the 'most trusted talking heads in US media' these days. Take for example the all-star lineup of the Sunday morning masters of electronic fellatio including the ever scummy David Gregory of NBC's Meet the Press, longtime political insider Bob Schieffer of CBS's Face the Nation, the dynamic duo at CNN being former AIPAC lobbyist Wolf Blitzer and that insipid blathering sow Candy Crowley, former Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos over at ABC's this week with neocon liar and PNAC founder William Kristol now riding shotgun and of course FOX's Chris Wallace. When the carcass of this rapidly collapsing empire is one day hauled upon the autopsy table by future historians to determine where it all went wrong a generous smattering of video from the ongoing beltway circle jerk on the Sabbath will likely be a key part of the study. As for the rest of the liars, snakes and bunco artists in the corrupt state-corporate media there are more to name than there is the time and space. Suffice it to say that in America, nothing sells quite as cheaply as integrity - just tune into MSNBC some night around the time that Rachel Maddow comes on to whore herself out to provide cover for the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Obama administration.
For the rest there is the NSA - the ultimate trump card of the fascist state and the perfect apparatus to suppress and target honest journalists trying to make a living and whistleblowers who attempt to get the truth out about the massive and metastasizing cancer within the government and every other prominent industry in America these days. They are the ultimate enemies of the state, at least the gangster state as it exists today - forget about al Qaeda, ISIS or even the current Emanuel Goldstein/New Hitler that is Russian President Vladimir Putin, the target of the new "two minutes hate" beamed into the living rooms of television addicted Americans 24/7. If we lived in a decent society with a functional poltical system - WE DON'T - The HRW-ACLU report would provide a serious warning to Americans that it is all slipping away and unless they wake up soon they will be as startled as the sheep when they round that final corner in the gleaming maze of steel chutes to confront the captive bolt pistol and their destiny.
But there is always another season of Dancing With the Stars upcoming and the NFL's preseason slate kicks off next week. Bread and circuses baby!
LINKS to the report: