Much like the constant flow of water in a stream forming a groove in the land over eons, the procession of people coming forward to blow the whistle on wrongdoing on the part of our government is an ongoing process of attrition, and that process is relentless. (and hopefully quicker in this case)
Gary Pruitt, the head of the global news agency, warned Washington that it cannot control the "inevitable" flow of information to the media in the wake of Snowden's disclosures about classified surveillance programs in the US and UK.This diary is not intended to be a testament to the so-called fourth estate in our country. They have failed the People over and over again. They deserve no praise. But it is a testament to what could be going forward. I have hope that what is happening right now may spur a renewal of interest in actually reporting governmental wrongdoing, if only in defiance.
He said: "The Obama administration has made it clear that it will aggressively pursue leakers and whistleblowers. I think there will inevitably be leakers and whistleblowers, however, because there are so many people who have access to classified information."
Obama's government has "gone after leakers in a way that no other has", Pruitt said, adding that the pursuit of whistleblowers has "become a much bigger issue than I believe they thought it would be".
Pruitt's comments are an example of the media outcry over the administration's recent seizure of the global news agency's phone records and the threat of criminal prosecution against a Fox News reporter.
More than twenty phone lines used by the AP were targeted in secret by the DoJ back in April and May. The justice department sought the sources of leaked information regarding a foiled bomb plot in Yemen. After major news agencies warned of government overreach, President Obama recently ordered the DoJ to review its guidelines on press freedoms. The report is reportedly due on the 12th of July.
But Pruitt said the incidents had threatened America's record as a "light of free press for the world". He said: "Fortunately, both the president and the attorney general have said they don't plan to prosecute journalists for doing their job. We think that should be the law, the rule, not just something they state.Soon, it won't be exclusive to informants in fiery exposés. Sources of routine stories will become reluctant to talk to anyone in the press, and even everyday public information could become watered down or nonexistent because officials will shy away from news organizations because they don't want their phone numbers associated.
"This is a free press issue. The US likes to think it has a strong free press but that was challenged in this case and we think it is important that the US not become an example where journalists are being harassed by the state."
Pruitt said there had been examples of sources being reluctant to talk to AP journalists in light of the Obama administration's high-profile pursuit of whistleblowers.
This is a betrayal of the People. It's a betrayal of our Constitution. And it's a betrayal of trust.
This. Must. End.