Obama Continues Bush-Era Assault on Reporters’ Right Not to Reveal Sources

Last month, Talking Points Memo reported that

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has taken the extraordinary step of subpoenaing a journalist in a leak case against a former CIA operative.

James Risen, a reporter few York Times was subpoenaed in the case against Jeffrey Sterling, who is awaiting trial for allegedly leaking classified information that Risen used in his book State of War. …

Risen has now filed an affidavit to quash the subpoena. And here are the most important paragraphs to read:

Risen accused the Obama administration of continuing an effort to intimidate him that started during the Bush era.

“By publicly speculating about the possibility of prosecuting journalists, such as myself, under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful stories containing classified information, I believe that the Government was trying to intimidate journalists, like me, who publish stories that expose excessive government secrecy, illegality, or malfeasance,” Risen wrote.

“I believe that the efforts to target me have continued under the Obama Administration, which has been aggressively investigating whistleblowers and reporters in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States,” he continued.

I know it’s not news anymore that Barack Obama has totally adopted the Bush administration’s civil liberties model after running a campaign premised on restoring the constitutional protections, free flow of information, respect for individual liberties, and transparent and open government that the previous administration had dismissed as quaint antiquities. But it still makes me dismayed and angry every fresh new example I see of it.


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