Obama's efforts to control leaks 'most aggressive since Nixon', report finds

Administration’s tactics, which include using Espionage Act to pursue leakers, have had chilling effect on accountability – study

order cheap cialis


Karen McVeigh
The Guardian [UK]
10 October 2013

Barack Obama has pursued the most aggressive “war on leaks” since the Nixon administration, according to a report published on Thursday that says the administration’s attempts to control the flow of information is hampering the ability of journalists to do their jobs.

The author of the study, the former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, says the administration’s actions have severely hindered the release of information that could be used to hold it to account.

Downie, an editor during the Post’s investigations of Watergate, acknowledged that Obama had inherited a culture of secrecy that had built up since 9/11. But despite promising to be more open, Obama had become “more aggressive”, stepping up the Espionage Act to pursue those accused of leaking classified information.

“The war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration,” Downie said in the report, which was commissioned by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and email records,” the report says.

This had a chilling effect on government accountability, even on matters that were less sensitive, it said…

…In his report, Downie chronicled the Obama administration’s use of the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute leakers, and its development of a programme that requires government employees in every department to help prevent leaks to the press by monitoring the behaviour of their colleagues. The initiative, called the Insider Threat Program, was first revealed by McClatchy newspapers in June…


Read the complete article at The Guardian.



Comments are closed.