Public Comment

Press Censorship

By Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday October 19, 2013 - 09:49:00 AM

The Committee to Protect Journalists has just issued its first report warning President Obama has ushered in a paralyzing climate of fear for both reporters and their government sources. The author, Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, was informed by dozens of journalists that officials are "reluctant to discuss even unclassified information … because they fear that leak investigations and government surveillance make it more difficult for reporters to protect their sources."

Glenn Greenwald, of the London Independent, warned that the Obama administration has declared a war against journalists and seriously undermined the freedom of the press. No longer can we accuse China, Iran and Russia of waging an assault on press freedom; such criticisms only expose us to charges of hypocrisy. 

The President’s defense of this unprecedented crackdown - “for the safety of our troops and intelligence officers” doesn’t hold muster. This is more to do with damage control of government missteps. 

If it wasn’t for the enormous courage of Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers, we may still be embroiled in Vietnam. 

The president promised to have the most transparent government in American history. He promised to make it easier to obtain government information through the Freedom of Information Act. He signed presidential directives about open government his first day in office. These are not being carried out by his administration. He still has time for his legacy to make good on these promises but time is running out.