You may call that government official a "source" — but to the Obama administration he or she is an "Insider Threat" subject to lie detector tests, wiretapping, and criminal prosecution. That's the conclusion of a new report by former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie, published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
"U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise," CPJ said. "Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists."
While the CPJ report focuses on sources and reporters who reveal "secrets" as defined by the national security classification system, it is a problem that spills over into other areas of government such as environment and energy.
- "Special Report: The Obama Administration and the Press," Committee to Protect Journalists, by Leonard Downie Jr. with reporting by Sara Rafsky.
- "White House Defends Transparency Record After Scathing CPJ Report," Politico (Dylan Byers on Media), October 11, 2013, by Dylan Byers.
- Previous Stories: SEJ WatchDogs of October 9, 2013; and January 22, 2009.