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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The U.S. Government Condemns Authoritarian Regimes Which Use Anti-Terror Laws to Stifle Journalism -- U.S. and U.K. Do the Exact Same Thing -- By George Washington, Zero Hedge

It is widely known that authoritarian regimes use “anti-terror” laws to crack down on journalism.
But this extreme tactic is becoming more and more common.  The Committee to Protect Journalists reported a year ago that terrorism laws are being misused worldwide to crush journalism:
The number of journalists jailed worldwide hit 232 in 2012, 132 of whom were held on anti-terror or other national security charges. Both are records in the 22 years CPJ has documented imprisonments.
The American government has rightly condemned such abuses.  For example, the U.S. State Department noted last April:
Some governments are too weak or unwilling to protect journalists and media outlets. Many others exploit or create criminal libel or defamation or blasphemy laws in their favor. They misuse terrorism laws to prosecute and imprison journalists. They pressure media outlets to shut down by causing crippling financial damage. They buy or nationalize media outlets to suppress different viewpoints. They filter or shut down access to the Internet. They detain and harass – and worse.
....

The ACLU’s Ben Wizner satirically writes:
Relax, everyone. You’re not terrorists unless you try “to influence a government.” Just type what you’re told.
The U.S. government is targeting whistleblowers in order to keep its hypocrisy secret … so that it can keep on doing the opposite of what it tells other countries to do.

As part of this effort to suppress information which would reveal the government’s hypocrisy, the American government – like the British government – is treating journalists as terrorists.

Journalism is not only being criminalized in America, but investigative reporting is actually treated like terrorism.

Veteran reporters and journalists say that the Obama administration is the most “hostile to media” of any administration in history.

The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge

After the government’s spying on the Associated Press made it clear to everyone that the government is trying to put a chill journalism, the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweek tweeted:
Serious idea. Instead of calling it Obama’s war on whistleblowers, let’s just call it what it is: Obama’s war on journalism.
Moreover:
  • The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officers, bloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
  • In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this)
And the American government has been instrumental in locking up journalists in America (and here), Yemen and elsewhere for the crime of embarrassing the U.S. government.

 (Click link below to read more)
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