Friday, October 25, 2013

New revelations on the war on whistle-blowers

Emails: White House, State Department coordinated with journalist on national security leaks

White House and State Department officials cooperated extensively on background with a New York Times journalist during the period that he broke confidential national security information in a series of leaks that prompted outrage from lawmakers, according to unearthed 2011 and 2012 emails....

The nonprofit organization Freedom Watch, which obtained the internal State Department emails through a Freedom of Information Act request, believes that the Obama administration carried out the leaks to bolster a tough image for itself on Iran.

Then-Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer and other State Department employees arranged background interviews between New York Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger and State Department officials between December 2011 and March 2012 for Sanger’s 2012 book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.”

Sanger’s book included leaks of confidential national security information, including details of the computer worm Stuxnet that was used in a cyberattack against Iran. Sanger linked the worm to a U.S.-Israeli intelligence operation called “Operation Olympic Games” in a June 2012 New York Times article.

This reveals a disturbing pattern by the administration. leaks that embarrass the White House or Hillary Clinton are investigated and punished. At the same time, the WH and State Department will reveal vital secrets in order to burnish the image of the bosses in the full knowledge that they run no risks.

Then there is this:

Report: Obama administration most secretive since Nixon

The Obama White House’s war against leaks, and its penchant for secrecy and noted lack of transparency, are the worst “since the Nixon administration,” according to a major new study that relied on interviews from leading Washington reporters and news organization chiefs.

The report, released Thursday by the Committee to Project Journalists, found that reporters from many major media outlets consider the Obama administration the most closed-off in recent memory, and that there is not “any precedent” for its often hostile relationship toward the press.
I wonder if reporters like Sager ever wonder why they are getting those secrets bits when most of their peers are being stonewalled?

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