US Plummets In Press Freedom Rankings

From HuffPo:

I Pit the Obama Admin; and for good measure the Bush Admin, for getting this whole new post-Cold-War national-security-state thing started; and any and every other freedom-hating asshole who is more concerned with stopping whistleblowers than with the content of the whistleblowing.

As the secret policeman said to the dissident: “Well, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care whether I tap your phones and read your mail – should you?”

Thank you for making it clear that RWB is not a group to be taken seriously.


How much of an effort was it to “track down” Edward Snowden, exactly? He’s the one who requested that his identity be made public. Also, it’s illegal to steal official secrets (by definition) in basically every country on the planet, so I’m not sure how that’s anything other than a common denominator.

These kinds of threads are really bad for morale, and for the board as a whole. We need a mod to lock it down ASAP. And suspend/ban BrainGlutton as well.

The question is should a low level tech be able to make unilateral decisions as to what should and should not be classified by the government. Whether or not the content of the whistleblowing should or should not have been eventually made public, given the way it was released, not going after Snowden would set a bad precedent.
The next “whistleblower” could decide that our clandestine support of Muslims is treasonous, and so it is his Christian duty to reveal the names and addresses of all of our agents in Syria.

I was a newspaper reporter once; forgive me if I still look at these things from that POV. You won’t find many reporters who approve of reporter-surveillance, etc., nor who disapprove of whistleblowing.

It’s not whistleblowing to give our enemies information that has been lawfully classified. Perhaps I’ve missed something, but everything Snowden has revealed so far has all been allowed under the Patriot Act. He’s a traitor to the Constitution and that document’s specification that Congress makes the laws, subject only to the Court’s disapproval, not the press’.

For example, suppose some Marine Major is selling weapon systems to el’Quada and stamped all the documents “Top Secret” and pocketing the profits. This is a crime and violates the law, thus whoever reveals this is a whistleblower.

Snowden lives only because we have a yellow-bellied thievin’ bastard for a president. And, hey, NSA operative, come and get me you sorry son-of-a-bitch, you know where I am right now.

What did he steal?

And what would a brave and honest POTUS do in this situation?

There are very specific regulations concerning what can and cannot be classified. It’s ALL based on how much damage to the military mission such information would do in the hands of our enemies. Back in the day, if the Soviets found out our entire nuclear arsenal was grounded for whatever reason and they could attack with impunity, well, that’s gravely damaging and would be classified “Top Secret”.

That classification would be up for review after thirty years, and since it no long damages our military mission, it would be completely declassified and available to the public.

A hard drive with classified information. What’s a POTUS and if it includes rattling a 30/30 slug around Snowden’s brain case, then yes.

Obama stole a hard drive?

POTUS = President of the United States.

It’s one thing for the government to take internal steps to close down leaks. It may or may not be good policy, but it is not a threat to journalistic freedom per sé. It makes it harder for journalists to get some kinds of information, but journalists are not supposed to be guaranteed access to information, only the freedom to print what they can get.

It’s another thing entirely for the government to bully and spy on reporters in an attempt to intimidate them away from seeking and printing information that is available to them. The reporter should never be the criminal. If a leaker is determined to be a criminal, there should not be any backlash against the journalist just for passing on what the leaker passed to him.

Note: “printing” is intended here as a generic term covering all journalism outlets, including audio, video, internet, etc.

It’s not clear from the quote whether RWB is conflating these two things or not. But I do agree that the U.S. government seems to be doing its best to imitate a repressive government when it comes to journalists and leaks.

And I will take this opportunity to plug my favorite NPR program on this general topic, “On The Media.” Highly recommended.

Ah, your pronouns and abbreviations are confusing. Snowden stole a hard drive.

You said you were a newspaper reporter once. Just to be clear, you and your kind should absolutely be immune from prosecution for publishing information given to you. You should never be compelled to reveal your sources. Free Press is our first line of defense against having our liberties taken away, you are to be thanked by all of us for your sometimes dangerous work.


This article in today’s (2/12/2014) Washington Post disputes the premise of the Huffpo article, that press freedom is plummeting. He claims the data, on which that claim was based, is being mis-reported and mis-interpreted.

But you called the president a thievin’ bastard. What did he steal?

You’re welcome, though 'twas a long time ago. But, how do you feel about Justice Department surveillance of reporters? (See the OP.)

On July 24th, 2009, the president used a TAX PAYER FUNDED paperclip when paying his mother’s electric bill. Sheesh, look up the word “metaphor” will ya.

It’s wrong, for the reasons stated above, at least in the general sense. If there’s probable cause of a crime and the courts’ approval, then a specific reporter can be surveillance for that specific crime, but otherwise, no, Justice can’t. We went through this during the Nixon administration.

Ermm, no, actually, it’s you who needs to do that. And then compare “hyperbole.” And then, in the future, avoid use of hyperbole.

No … Free Press, buck-o … you don’t like it, move to Red China.

For that matter, a whistle-blower never needs to be tracked down, almost by definition. Chelsea Manning came to light because she confided her activities to a friend who then reported her to the authorities. That has fuck-all to do with press freedom.