Obama’s hunt for leaks, sources worries reporters
October 10, 2013
An “open government” promised by President Obama not only has failed to materialize, a veteran Washington editor asserts, but has become instead one the of the most secretive and intrusive administrations in history.
Leonard Downie, who spent 40 years at the Washington Post — 17 of those as editor — probed the opinions of 30 veteran White House and Capitol reporters to prepare a report for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Downie said each of those interviewed agreed they “could not remember any precedent” to Obama’s aggressive, technology-fueled pursuit of the identities of leakers and confidential sources.
The New York-based advocacy association “special report” noted that concern has been heightened by news of the administration’s snooping into emails and other electronic communications of journalists in a search for leakers.
National security journalist R. Jeffrey Smith, of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit government accountability news organization in Washington, told Downie, “I worry now about calling somebody because the contact can be found out through a check of phone records or e-mails. It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for the government to monitor those contacts.”