May 20, 2013

Media as "unindicted co-conspirators"

If you think that, while the IRS nonscandal has been blown way out of proportion, in part by Team Obama playing Shirley Sherrod in the face of wingnut pressure, and that Benghazi's been wrongly covered, because nobody's talking about what the CIA was doing there, but ...

You know there's one real scandal, even if arguably legal — Team Obama spying on the AP, then ...

Glenn Greewald's latest is a must read.

Per my header, he argues, and rightly, that that is exactly what the White House is doing with investigative journalists. Besides indicting the leakers as soon as it can (even if they've clearly done nothing illegal, more below), it's treating the media recipients of leaks as unindicted co-conspirators.
(A)s Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler noted recently in the New Republic, when the judge presiding over Manning's prosecution asked military lawyers if they would "have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?", the prosecutor answered simply: "Yes, ma'am". It has long been clear that this WikiLeaks-as-criminals theory could and would be used to criminalize establishment media outlets which reported on that which the US government wanted concealed. 

Now we know that the DOJ is doing exactly that: applying this theory to criminalize the acts of journalists who report on what the US government does in secret, even though there is no law that makes such reporting illegal and the First Amendment protects such conduct. Essentially accusing James Rosen of being an unindicted co-conspriator in these alleged crimes is a major escalation of the Obama DOJ's already dangerous attacks on press freedom. 
The imperial presidency of Nixon? The unitary executive of Shrub Bush?

Growing even more under Dear Leader.

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