Not Just ‘Fringe’ Journalism

Now you may not consider the Gray Lady actual ‘Journalism’ but there is no denying they take themselves quite seriously as do the Washington/Wall Street elites for the most part which is precisely why the Risen case is so very important.

If they can do it to him they can do it to anybody.

Freedom of the Press in Jeopardy As Obama Goes After Times Reporter Risen

James Risen and Phil Donahue on Obama’s War on Press Freedoms

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists Show Solidarity with James Risen in Fight Against Justice Department

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Monday August 11, 2014 1:56 pm

There is no indication that the Justice Department will not pursue testimony for its leak prosecution against former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, and, as a result, fourteen Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists have come forward to declare their support for Risen in his fight against revealing information from his confidential sources.

Throughout this ordeal, Risen has never been held in contempt. However, with the Supreme Court’s decision in June to not hear his case over whether he had a reporter’s privilege to protect his confidential sources, he has exhausted his appeals.

President Barack Obama’s administration now has a clear path to subpoena and coerce him into testifying. The administration could threaten him with jail or even fine him in increments that increase each day until he is bankrupt.

“Enough is enough,” New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow declared. “The relentless and by all appearances vindictive effort by two administrations to force Jim Risen into betraying his sources has already done substantial and lasting damage to journalism in the United States.”

The Washington Post’s Dana Priest, the co-author of Top Secret America, stated if the US government is so concerned about information Risen revealed about a “now 14-year-old CIA operation against Iran” that went wrong” it would have “moved quickly to resolve this matter eight years ago when it was first published.”

“Instead, it seems obvious now that what officials really want is to hold a hammer over the head of a deeply sourced reporter, and others like him who try to hold the government accountable for what it does, even in secret,” Priest added.

She noted that over-classification of information by Obama and President George W. Bush had made the reporting of journalists like Risen increasingly critical to the public’s ability to “question whether a gigantic government in the shadows is really even a good idea.”

Both Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall, international reporters for Reuters, suggested it was “scandalous” Risen may face “jail time for doing what every good journalist working in the public interest does: protect confidential sources.”

“President Obama and Attorney General Holder should halt all legal action against James to demonstrate that their ‘war on leaks’ is not an assault on the First Amendment and freedom of the press,” Szep and Marshall added.

“Preservation of a free, unfettered press has a long history in our country, allowing ordinary citizens to learn what their government is up to and to question actions carried out in their name. The Pentagon Papers, Watergate Scandal, My Lai Massacre, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and many other outrages would never have come to light in a country where reporters must fear imprisonment for doing their jobs. A big part of doing our jobs is giving our word to protect whistleblowers,” Mark Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel acknowledged.

“By threatening to send a journalist to prison for refusing to name his sources, the Obama Administration makes the whistleblowers more fearful to come forward, and it makes the journalists more hesitant to expose the failures of the government,” Eric Newhouse of Great Falls (MT) Tribune argued. He called what the administration was doing a “grave disservice.”

Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times quoted George Orwell, who said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

“America needs journalists to write the first draft of history without fear or favor, as my colleague James Risen has. It is deeply disturbing that the Obama Administration is pursuing Mr. Risen for doing his job.”

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