Obama’s hunt for leaks, sources worries reporters

October 10, 2013

spyAn “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.”

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If our federal government were operating within the parameters set forth in the Constitution we would not be discussing an overthrow.


We’re not discussing an overthrow.

A few loonies whose caretakers let them get on the computer for a half hour does not constitute a discussion, just some loonie rants.

Hunt for leakers and sources, unless they are the ones doing the leaking to burnish the president’s “tough guy” credentials. As in……..


So, when it’s in their interest to leak sensitive information they’re all over it. Embarrass them in any way and the Hounds of Hades are set loose on you. Nice. Stay classy, current administration.

I truly believe it is time for the overthrow of the present form of government


I truly believe you are off your rocker. Better go hide in your underground doomsday shelter and wait for society to implode. Suggestion: Buy lots and lots of canned goods because you’re going to be there for a long while.

Privacy is no longer assumed, that difference is obvious for my generation. For the youth, privacy might only mean number 1 or number 2.

What? Huh? By all means, please do your number 2 in private.

I truly believe it is time for the overthrow of the present form of government

Don’t encourage a plutocracy. Things are bad enough as they are.

So that was supposed to be a joke, right Sarah? We already have a plutocracy.

I truly believe it is time for the overthrow of the present form of government


You is out yo mind. Get a reality check. America is the envy of the world. The … entire ….. world.

Best economy.

Most freedom.

Most opportunity.

Best military.

Best form of govt. in the history of the world.

If our federal government were operating within the parameters set forth in the Constitution we would not be discussing an overthrow. The power would lie in the states…closer to home and easier to control. What we have now is so gigantic that millions of dollars can go missing and no one says butt-kiss. Bring the Government closer to home and we can get a handle on that and other kinds of corruption and waste.

I would agree except that our state is bigger and more bureaucratic than many nations. For states with smaller populations, you would be right. For California, I don’t see that there would be much of a difference.

50 years ago, you would have been correct. However, the number of people in the world envying this country has been on a slow but steady decrease since then. Most people living in third world countries that agree with you but I think that the developed world has a more mixed opinion. We are in decline and it isn’t only outsiders who can see that.

“Best economy” — debatable for anyone who isn’t already well off. Several other countries do as well or better on a “per capita” basis.

“Most freedom” — in theory, maybe; in practice, not anymore. The article above is a fine illustration of why.

“Most opportunity” — possibly.

“Best military” — definitely. But it is a big reason for our huge national debt and is increasingly vulnerable due to our reliance on foreign sources for high tech equipment components.

“Best form of government in the history of the world” — originally, yes. But it is evolving into a pervasive and plutocratic variation that could easily become a totalitarian state.

Personally, I doubt that a total overthrow is possible and probably not even necessary. However, major changes need to be made to stop our descent into tyranny. Those changes need to include some Constitutional Amendments which would further limit centralized power (corporate as well as government) and redefine individual liberties for the modern era so that it is tougher for politicians to find ways to get around them with technicalities.