Thursday, May 23, 2013
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Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Ted Rudow III, MA, a member of the Palo Alto High School community
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is heading to Capitol Hill , where he’s expected to be grilled over the Justice Department’s decision to secretly seize the work, home and cellphone records used by almost a hundred reporters and editors at the Associated Press. On Tuesday, Holder defended the move as a necessary step in a criminal probe of leaks of classified information.
The use of the Espionage Act, to essentially silence whistleblowers within the government—Kiriakou, Drake and others, although Kiriakou went to jail on—pled out on another charge—the FISA Amendment Act, which allows for warrantless wiretapping, the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows for the stripping of American citizens of due process and indefinite detention. And it is one more assault in a long series of assault against freedom of information and freedom of the press.
And I would also, of course, throw in the persecution of Julian Assange at WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning as part of that process all of these measures to essentially shut down the freedom of information, as symptomatic of a reconfiguration of our society into a totalitarian security and surveillance state. One where anyone who challenges the official narrative, who digs out cases of torture, war crimes—which is, of course, what Manning and Assange presented to the American public—is going to be ruthlessly silenced.