Obama Administration Security Official: We Don’t Need to Subpoena Reporters Anymore Because We Already Know Who They’re Talking To
The public is generally unaware of how essential nominally classified information is to coverage of diplomatic and strategic news. As Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ government secrecy project, put it: “The administration’s aggressive pursuit of leaks represents a challenge to the practice of national security reporting, which depends on the availability of unauthorized sources if it is to produce something more than ‘authorized’ news.”
What’s behind the administration’s fervor isn’t clear, but the news media have largely rolled over and yawned. A big reason is that prosecutors aren’t hassling reporters as they once did. Thanks to the post-9/11 explosion in government intercepts, electronic surveillance, and data capture of all imaginable kinds — the NSA is estimated to have intercepted 15-20 trillion communications in the past decade — the secrecy police have vast new ways to identify leakers.
So they no longer have to force journalists to expose confidential sources. As a national security representative told Lucy Dalglish, director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “We’re not going to subpoena reporters in the future. We don’t need to. We know who you’re talking to.”
Huh. Imagine that! An administration that touted ‘Transparency’ as a major theme of their 2008 campaign, they seem awfully keen on searching out and purging dissent in the ranks – a lot like every ‘Forward’ campaign before him. Beyond big brotherly if you ask me. I had no idea his administration now leads in Whistleblower prosecutions, did you?