WMR has learned and has personally experienced the unprecedented assault by the Obama administration, aided and abetted by its intelligence and internal security infrastructure, on the First Amendment right of freedom of the press.
The six people charged under the Espionage Act with providing classified information to journalists (the "Obama Six") are:
- John Kiriakou, former CIA, allegedly passed information on waterboarding torture tactics and the identity of a CIA torturer to someone identified by the government as "Journalist A." The chief government prosecutor is U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald, who WMR has identified as a cover-up prosecutor for the CIA ever since the days he suppressed critical intelligence in the trial of the "Blind Sheik," Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and later, when he failed to bring Espionage Act charges against Dick Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak case. Fitzgerald also prosecuted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to protect the CIA's one-time agent, Barack Obama, Jr., from scandal arising from Obama's political and social activities in Chicago.
- Jeffrey Sterling, former CIA, charged with providing The New York Times' James Risen with classified information on Iran's nuclear program.
- Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, charged with providing over a quarter million State Department classified and unclassified cables from the SIPRnet communication system to WikiLeaks.
- Thomas Drake, former NSA official, charged with providing classified information to journalists, including former Baltimore Sun reporter Siobhan Gorman. The charges against Drake were later reduced.
- Stephen Kim, former State Department contractor, charged with leaking classified information about North Korea to Fox News' James Rosen.
- Shamai Leibowitz, former FBI Hebrew translator, convicted of leaking classified FBI wiretaps to a blogger on Israeli intelligence activities in the United States directed at stirring up war fever against Iran. As yet, Leibowitz has been the only person convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking information to the media. The government fast-tracked the Leibowitz trial in order to supress coverage of Israel's massive intelligence operations in the United States.
Government employees face constant monitoring of their government emails, as well as their personal e-mail accounts for any contact with the press.
WMR learned of one case where the U.S. Navy blocked access to the web for an employee who visited WayneMadsenReport.com from a government computer.
There are also increasing reports that journalists' e-mails are being monitored or completely blocked by the U.S. government agencies and cooperating Internet Service Providers (ISPs). WMR has recently experienced such a denial-of-service by America On-Line (AOL).
The increased harassment of journalist sources by the Obama administration comes at the same time that Reporters Without Borders has dropped the United States on the World Press Freedom Index to 47 from 20 on the press freedom ranking list.
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