Public Comment

Government Spying

By Jagjit Singh
Friday June 28, 2013 - 11:49:00 AM

As the media focuses almost exclusively on Edward Snowden’s possible whereabouts, more details have emerged on the Obama administration’s unprecedented assault on whistleblowers. New investigations have shown the administration’s crackdown extends far beyond Snowden and has unleashed its ‘fast and furious’ spy programs on the vast majority of government agencies and departments — with little or no connection to national security. A program called “Insider Threat" forces government employees to spy on their colleagues and report suspicious activity. They are also mandated to view an online video, “Treason 101” to enhance intimidation. This has created an extremely toxic work environment and opens the possibility of enormous abuse and spurious investigations. This is starkly reminiscent of totalitarian governments who wage war on dissent and command implicit obedience. 

Unfortunately the mainstream media has been trashing the messenger, Snowden, rather than examining the dirty linen that he has exposed. Snowden is the seventh person to be charged under the 100-year-old Espionage Act by the current administration, doubling all prior presidents. 

An iron curtain has descended on investigative reporting following the seizure of phone records of the Associated Press and the emails of Fox News’s James Rosen. This has had a chilling effect on investigative reporting that relies on the free flow of information. Sadly, the US government has had a long history of misleading the American people that has had disastrous consequences (see Jeremy Scahill best-selling book, “Dirty Wars”, the hidden truth behind America's covert wars).