"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Sunday, December 8, 2013

British help Obama in a crack down on press freedom

“This White House seems to
only want state media.”

Left-wing journalist Jeremy Scahill appeared on the syndicated show “Democracy Now!” this Thursday to discuss the global “war on journalism,” claiming that “this White House seems to only want state media.”

Scahill spoke with left-leaning hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about the global suppression of reporters in places far-flung such as Somalia and Mexico reports the Daily Caller.

But although he was responding to the British government’s crackdown on The Guardian newspaper, Scahill reserved special ire for the Obama administration’s aggressive actions against reporters and the First Amendment.

“You have, on the one hand, President Obama saying that his administration is going to be the most transparent in history and that they want to be friends with the press,” he said. “And on the other hand, they are monitoring the metadata of journalists, they are seizing phone records, they are trying to compel journalists to testify against their sources, they are trying to figure out who journalists are talking to within government so that they can go and indict those people.”

The reporter, who has written critical book on the Blackwater military contractor and whose new documentary was recently nominated for an Oscar, stressed the importance of the First Amendment and journalism, and argued that the government was seeking to bury both.

“Our profession, our trade is the only one specifically cited in the Constitution for a reason,” he said. “When all three branches of the government are colluding against the interests of the people, it’s the responsibility of journalists to hold them accountable. But this White House, like Bush’s before, they seem to want only state media. They want everything to look like MSNBC, and that’s not real journalism.”


British are Slaves to Obama's Fascism
  • UK Guardian newspaper will not be intimidated over NSA leaks as British Parliament acts as Comrade Obama's lackeys in a drive to crush freedom of the press.  Editor tells parliamentary committee that stories revealing mass surveillance by UK and US have prompted global debate.

The Police State  -  The Guardian has come under concerted pressure and intimidation designed to stop it from publishing stories of huge public interest that have revealed the "staggering" scale of Britain's and America's secret surveillance programmes, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper has said.

Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee about stories based on the National Security Agency leaks from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, Alan Rusbridger said the Guardian "would not be put off by intimidation, but nor are we going to behave recklessly".

He told MPs that disclosures from the files had generated a global debate about the powers of state agencies, and the weaknesses of the laws and oversight regimes they worked within reports the UK Guardian.

"In terms of the broader debate, I can't think of a story in recent times that has ricocheted around the world like this has and which has been more broadly debated in parliaments, in courts and amongst NGOs," he said.

"The roll call of people who have said there needs to be a debate about this includes three presidents of the United States, two vice-presidents, generals, the security chiefs in the US [who] are all saying this is a debate that in retrospect we had to have."

Press Intimidation by Big Brother
UK Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger is ripped by both Labour
and Conservatives for daring to tell the truth.

Rusbridger said the Guardian had been put under the kind of pressure to stop publishing stories that would have been inconceivable in other countries.

"They include prior restraint, they include a senior Whitehall official coming to see me to say: 'There has been enough debate now'. They include asking for the destruction of our disks. They include MPs calling for the police to prosecute the editor. So there are things that are inconceivable in the US.

"I feel that some of this activity has been designed to intimidate the Guardian."

In one curious exchange, the committee chair, Labour Party MP Keith Vaz, asked Rusbridger if he loved his country.

"In a time of universal deceit - telling
the truth is a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

"I'm slightly surprised to be asked the question," replied Rusbridger. "But, yes, we are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of democracy, the nature of a free press and the fact that one can in this country discuss and report these things.

"One of the things I love about this country is that we have that freedom to write, and report, and to think and we have some privacy, and those are the concerns which need to be balanced against national security, which no one is underestimating. I can speak for the entire Guardian staff who live in this country that they want to be secure too."

At one point, Conservative Party MP Mark Reckless suggested a criminal offence had been committed by sharing some of the Snowden material with the New York Times.

"You have I think Mr Rusbridger admitted a criminal offence in your response. Do you consider that it would not be in the public interest for the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] to prosecute?"

Rusbridger replied: "I think it depends on your view of a free press."

He said the Guardian had not lost control of any of the documents and the newspaper had used "military-grade" encryption to safeguard the files.

"No data was lost, we lost control of no data. No names have leaked from the Guardian."

Ex-NSA official on Snowden and the U.S. spy leviathan
Thomas Drake, who was prosecuted for allegedly disclosing National Security Agency secrets years before Edward Snowden surfaced, says the U.S. government has an "industrial-scale" surveillance system that "the Stasi in East Germany would have drooled over." Drake speaks with Reuters defense correspondent Andrea Shalal-Esa.

The End of Internet Freedom
In another blow to the Constitution, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case by Amazon and Overstock.com challenging a law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax in states where they have no physical presence.

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