Originally published March 13 2015
Obama Administration considers independent journalists to be 'enemies of the state,' warn reporters
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Author and former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson recently told senators considering confirmation of President Obama's next attorney general pick, Loretta Lynch, that the nominee would need to "chart a new path" from the White House's abysmal record of essentially treating some reporters like "enemies of the state."
Attkisson's accusations before the Senate Judiciary Committee were akin to those made in her 2014 book Stonewalled, in which she detailed how the Obama Administration -- and officials in her own network -- worked to prevent the public from learning more about several scandals, including Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the green energy debacle.
In addition to providing testimony, reports WorldNetDaily, Attkisson has also turned to Twitter to further her claims and double-down on her initial accusations.
In a string of Tweets sent out a few days after her testimony, the investigative reporter argued, "A free press is under threat today for many reasons," as well as, "Many journalists have provided their own accounts."
Some Democrats decried and belittled Attkisson -- which she is accustomed to, as she relates in her book -- as well as Lynch's confirmation process. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., derided that process as little more than a "soundbite factory for Fox News and conspiracy theorists everywhere."
"50 news organizations" can't be all wrong - can they?
But facts are disturbing things to political operatives and lawmakers who seek to deflect blame and hide the consequences of their actions, and Attkisson would not be denied her opportunity to expose them.
In a flurry of Tweets, she argued that what she has experienced personally, and what others in her profession have also experienced, is much more than one news organization making claims about treatment by the Obama White House. As WND reported, Attkisson reiterated some of what she said in her testimony, but also offered up new material, all in the traditional abbreviated jargon of Twitter. Some of those Tweets were:
-- [The] White House punished C-SPAN after C-SPAN defied White House demand to delay airing a potentially embarrassing iview w/Obama
-- 50 news orgs, incl CBS and Wash Post wrote White House objecting to unprecedented restrictions on press that raise constitutional concerns
-- A New York Times photographer likened White House practices to the Soviet news agency Tass
-- Former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie called the Obama War on Leaks 'by far the most aggressive' he's seen since Nixon
-- David Sanger of the New York Times called this 'the most closed, control freak administration' he's ever covered
But of course, Attikisson hedged, "in fairness, we could all be wrong."
"Freedoms are protected by the Constitution"
During her testimony, she further noted, as WND reported, "The message has already been received. If you cross this administration with perfectly accurate reporting they don't like, you will be attacked and punished. You and your sources may be subjected to the kind of surveillance devised for enemies of the state."
In her book, she repeatedly provided details about how she was thwarted at nearly every turn by administration functionaries when, like a "pit bull," she ceaselessly pursued details about a number of Obama Administration scandals. She also frequently pointed out in her book that 1) the information she sought belonged not to the administration but to the American people; 2) as such, that information ought to be provided to them via the press; and 3) those who were keeping the information from being made public were being paid by American taxpayers, whom they were really supposed to serve.
In concluding her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attkisson stated:
Freedoms of expression and association are of course protected by the Constitution. Today those freedoms are under assault due to government policies of secrecy, leak prevention, and officials' contact with the media, combined with large-scale surveillance programs. The nominee if confirmed should chart a new path and reject the damaging policies and practices that have been used by others in the past. If we aren't grave enough to confront these concerns, it could do serious long-term damage to a supposedly free press.
We're not holding our breath.
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