MAY 21, 2013
By Glenn Greenwald
New York

President Obama has repeatedly hailed himself for presiding over “the most transparent administration ever.” At the same time, he has waged a sustained and unprecedented war on whistleblowers, press freedoms and the basic mechanisms of the newsgathering process.

But it is the administration of Barack Obama that has prosecuted more accused leakers under “espionage” statutes than all prior administrations combined — in fact, double the number of all prior such prosecutions.

This is the vital context in which the Obama Justice Department’s conduct regarding both The A.P. and Fox News’ James Rosen must be understood. Time and again, this administration has proven that it has little other than contempt for time-honored protections to safeguard whistleblowing and transparency.

It tried to impose a lengthy prison term on Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official who exposed serious agency corruption and wrongdoing, only for its case to fall apart shortly before trial. A formal United Nations investigation found that its detention treatment of Bradley Manning, who exposed multiple acts of serious government deceit and wrongdoing, was so abusive that it amounted to “cruel and inhuman” treatment.

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