MINNEAPOLIS — The Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers was recognized by this year’s Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index. The NGO ranked the United States — the supposed paradigm of press freedom — at a disturbing 41 out of 180 countries.
The timing of the release of the annual report, which highlighted the attack on our First Amendment, couldn’t have come at a better time: As Obama wraps up his last few months in office, his administration will be remembered as the least transparent in U.S. history. That’s right: Obama out-Bush’ed Dubya by targeting and imprisoning more whistleblowers than all previous U.S. administrations combined.
Bush’s post-9/11 surveillance program to “fight terrorism” snaked its way into the lives of millions of innocent Americans in an effort to justify an ever-growing war machine. Whether it helped “fight terrorism” is debatable, but what’s not debatable is that it turned the United States into an over-reaching surveillance state.
Those who have sounded the alarm on instances of government overreach and information suppression, though, have been muzzled.
Edward Snowden … Julian Assange… Chelsea Manning… These are just a few examples of whistleblowers who are suffering under government oppression.
The government makes it seem like these heroes, who risked so much to expose the dirty, hidden workings in the bowels of our military and government, aren’t heroes at all — but traitors. In doing so, the government forces other would-be whistleblowers to weigh their options carefully.
Meanwhile, the corporate-owned mainstream media is all too happy to play along. Rather than act as a government watchdog, covering the contents of these leaks and questioning government motives — the media are acting nothing more than a lapdog, toeing the official line and parroting government press releases — putting our first amendment on life support.
But that’s exactly why shows like this exist.
To explain how censorship became a plutocratic cornerstone and why transparency is such a threat to the establishment is Mickey Huff, an expert on media literacy and director of Project Censored, a student-run media literacy effort which issues an annual report on the most important overlooked stories of the year.
Learn more about Obama’s assasination policy; Media censorship & the war on whistleblowers: