The Obama Administration's "quiet but malicious campaign against the news media and their sources"

My former colleagues at the L.A. Times Editorial Board take aim at the president:

[T]his administration has pursued a quiet but malicious campaign against the news media and their sources, more aggressively attacking those who ferret out confidential information than even the George W. Bush administration did.

James Risen of the New York Times has been ordered to testify about sources for his 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. (Risen, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, is fighting that subpoena.) A former National Security Agency official has been indicted for allegedly supplying material to the Baltimore Sun, and for obstructing justice when he allegedly destroyed information related to those contacts. A former FBI official was prosecuted for leaking to a blogger. And now, the administration is accusing the WikiLeaks website of causing vague harm to American interests and operatives by posting classified material.

It is understandable that the administration has secrets and wants to keep them. But this campaign to flush out sources has the feel of chest-thumping and intimidation. It is one thing to protect information that might put Americans in danger or undermine national security; it is another to bring cases against whistle-blowers and others who divulge information to spur debate and raise questions about public policy.

Whole thing here; link via Glenn Greenwald's Twitter feed. For a similar and more detailed critique from a more surprising source, check out this feature in the latest Washingtonian magazine (pictured).

I talked about Obama's transparency record last week.

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  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    But ... but ... he's so DREAMY!

  • ||

    Greenwald's tears are yummy.

  • Barack Obama||

    Matt, the campaign is over.

  • The Prez||

    I mean, it's over if you lose the election.

  • Richard Nixon||

    I was telling Bob the other day, those negroes sure are thin-skinned.

  • MNG||

    But the media is in the tank for Obama!

    You lie Welch, you lie! Oh why, oh why do you lie?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Compare & contrast the coverage of Bush's many scandals, some of which were pretty minor, to Obamas.

  • MNG||

    I see negative coverage of Obama on the MSM every day, in fact I'd bet any given day an H&R post links to such.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So... the solution is to not print anything negative about Obama. Right?

  • MNG||

    Yeah, that's the unescapable logical conclusion. Are you smoking crack?

  • ||

    One editorial in a paper no one reads about what should be a giant scandal and would be had Bush done such a thing. They are really out to get him.

  • MNG||

    I just googled "Obama" and "transparency." On first page got CBS, CS monitor, and Wired story contrasting his promises with his actions. Yeah, the "MSM" is keeping this from the public!

  • Joe M||

    Good thinking. Better to attack a strawman about the media than attempt to defend Obama's actions, which is a far more important issue.

  • MNG||

    It's actually possible to find the "MSM is a tool for Obama" narrative to be very simplistic and find the Obama administrations record on transparency to not match his lofty rhetoric you know.

  • cynical||

    Well, it's nice that the media is slowly waking up to his shitasticality. Considering how hard they worked to get him into office, it's the least they could do.

  • Barry O||

    Let me be perfectly clear.

    I will usher in a new era of transparency unprecedented in Washington DC.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I take this to mean one of the two following choices:

    (1) You're simply lying once again, which is to be expected from the lying sack of shit you've proven yourself to be; or

    (2) by "transparency" you mean obfuscation, blocking, foot-dragging, diversion, misdirection, opacity and - oh yeah - lying.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yes.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    The key word is "unprecedented".

  • ||

    Transparency? I thought of this, for some reason:

    I'm looking through you, where did you go
    I thought I knew you, what did I know
    You don't look different, but you have changed
    I'm looking through you, you're not the same

    Your lips are moving, I cannot hear
    Your voice is soothing, but the words aren't clear
    You don't sound different, I've learned the game.
    I'm looking through you, you're not the same

    Why, tell me why, did you not treat me right?
    Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight

    You're thinking of me, the same old way
    You were above me, but not today
    The only difference is you're down there
    I'm looking through you, and you're nowhere

    Why, tell me why, did you not treat me right?
    Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight

    I'm looking through you, where did you go
    I thought I knew you, what did I know
    You don't look different, but you have changed
    I'm looking through you, you're not the same

    Yeah! Oh baby you changed!
    Aah! I'm looking through you!
    Yeah! I'm looking through you!
    You changed, you changed, you changed!

  • Me Myself||

    I never read posted lyrics. So trite.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I was watching a "documentary" on the presidents recently, a pretty horrid show in reality, but one thing that I did learn was the frequency presidents did not receive the nomination from their own party during throughout the 19th century. Please, oh please let this be one of those times.

    That said, politically speaking, there is no way that would happen as it would explicity be read as "Obama was a mistake in liberal judgment" which the party would never allow. The best we can hope for is that he decide not to run, or is essentially told by the party to choose to not run.

  • ||

    But if not Obama then who? Hillary?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    After thinking for a bit, I actually hope he does run, for the simple idea that I don't think he has a snowball's chance in hell of being re-elected.

    The only other option is a non-progressive democrat with the tacit understanding that Obama is not unpopular because he isn't liberal enough.

    The libertarded saw Obama's election as part of a fledgling progressive movement rather than a repudiation of Bush-style neo-con politics. They will pay for that mistake. The big problem is we will too.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    If Obama runs again I think it's pretty much a given that he'll win. Sure, some people are disappointed, even angry with him. But the republicans will run some asswipe like Romney against him, and all those people who voted for Obama but are disappointed will go "well, we can't let that republican win" and reelect Obama.

  • ||

    No chance. The guy is halfway through and looks totally inept. And if this recession lasts year one more year, he's toast. Even a late term recovery would likely not be enough to save his sorry ass.

  • Atanarjuat||

    With Hillary Clinton behind it, such an outcome isn't completely out of the question.

  • ||

    I have to say that the political savvy attributed to the Clintons is wildly overstated. Bill Clinton was pretty good at remaking himself to stay relevant--while he was active in politics. There's been little sign of that since then from him or from his wife. Let's not forget that she lost in a very weak field to a very weak opponent.

    If she tries to jump ship and run against Obama, she'll draw down a lot of ire, and I doubt she'll be any less divisive or generally unpopular than she already is.

    Also, given the racial overtones of any Democratic rejection of Obama, I think the move would be politically impossible for the party leadership. So it pretty much has to be Obama in 2012, unless some major scandal intervenes.

    Given a reasonable candidate in 2012 for the GOP, Obama probably has very little chance of winning. The bad news is that we may then see a one party government again, which I don't want.

  • ||

    A similarly overrated political manipulator is Mr. Rove. Not saying that he's inept, either, just not the God of Politics he was made out to be. Strange how a win under certain circumstances translates to omniscience.

  • Kolohe||

    James Risen of the New York Times has been ordered to testify about sources for his 2006 book, *State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.* (Risen, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, is fighting that subpoena.) A former National Security Agency official has been indicted for allegedly supplying material to the Baltimore Sun, and for obstructing justice when he allegedly destroyed information related to those contacts. A former FBI official was prosecuted for leaking to a blogger. And now, the administration is accusing the WikiLeaks website of causing vague harm to American interests and operatives by posting classified material.

    There's two different groups of people here. The first and last are private entities (or alternately, members of the public) and have no legal obligation* But the two middle one are government officials that swore under penalty of perjury that among other things, they wouldn't go blabbing to bloggers, journalists, or any random schmoe on whatever classified material they were working with. They deserve to be prosectuted to the full exent of the law.

    *any sort of 'moral' obligation is beyond the scope of the distinction and beside the point in this context.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If looked at from a purely contract-centric perspective, I'd agree.

    Unfortunately life isn't always that simple.

  • ||

    government officials that swore under penalty of perjury that among other things, they wouldn't go blabbing to bloggers, journalists, or any random schmoe on whatever classified material they were working with. They deserve to be prosectuted to the full exent of the law.

    This is unquestionably a valid point.

    If those government employees are sufficiently convinced of the need to disclose this information, they should not be surprised if they end up in jail rather than being hailed as heroes, when they disclose it.

  • hmm||

    But this campaign to flush out sources has the feel of chest-thumping and intimidation.

    RACIST!!!

  • Death Panelist||

    I always suspected The L.A. Times was a closet teabagger.

  • l||

    m

  • hmm||

    You're all missing the point. By transparency he meant that Mrs. O was going to wear see through nighties.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Don't nobody wanna see that hag in see through undies.

  • ||

    is it just me, or is Michelle Obama a very unattractive woman? i don't say this in a partisan sense, and i don't think hillary was any worse than average for a woman her age

    obama is a smooth, charismatic guy, why would he not choose someone who is at least average looking? realistically, not "beauty is on the inside, etc"

  • Barack||

    I like big butts and I can not lie. You other brothers can't deny.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    RRRRRAAAAAAAAAAA-CIST!

    Just hadda toss that out there for ya.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh yeah and - I'm not so sure she's a beautiful person on the inside, either.

  • Legally Blond||

    Who doesn't like pink?

  • cynical||

    She doesn't seem worse than most other first ladies, especially once you start getting into the historical record.

  • ||

    It's not so much that the woman is unattractive that the media goes on about how great she looks, dresses, walks, etc. It's not like she's Scarlett Johansson or something, so it's hard not to think some of that is purely political.

  • hmm||

    When some talking head compared her to Jackie O I almost laughed so hard I damn near choked.

  • ||

    not comparing to movie stars (only Carla Bruni would be in that category), but compared to average women of that age, i'd say hillary was average, laura bush was above average, cindi mccain was much above average, barbara bush somewhat below but she was great-grandmother age and looked it (plus had that thyroid problem that makes the eyes bulge out)

    going back further, nancy reagan above average, same for carter's wife (not a bad looking woman), nixon & lbj & ford wives probably a bit above average, and of course jackie O was way above average

    obama just strikes me as the kind of guy who would want a good looking wife

  • ||

    What makes her unattractive to me isn't anything physical. Its that she comes across as a bitter, angry, mean-spirited person.

    Why someone who has pretty much waltzed through life would turn out that way, I have no idea. But there it is.

  • -||

    "Waltzed"? She's black, man! Blacks don't waltz. They boogie!

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