The Obama administration has issued a new policy directive that prohibits any government official from publicly discussing or even referring to news reports that are based on “unauthorized leaks” like the ones from Edward Snowden. That’s right, they can’t even acknowledge that the leaks exist.
There already were laws that prohibited officials from confirming the accuracy of or commenting on leaks. But not allowing an official to even acknowledge the existence of a story that has already appeared in a major newspaper or on TV seems a bit bizarre.
To me, this is the most serious failure of the Obama administration. He has completely broken his promise to be the most transparent administration in history, and instead has blocked transparency at almost every turn, has prosecuted unprecedented numbers of government whistleblowers, targeted legitimate journalists, and has tolerated (and possibly encouraged) mass surveillance programs that violate the rule of law, not to mention the constitution.
Making it a punishable offense for any government official to even refer to articles about the leaks almost sounds like the thought control from the novel 1984. Does Obama think that by prohibiting people from talking about leaks, these leaks will somehow vanish? And even if the leaks do mostly disappear, the only people who will see them are the people who we don’t want to see them (e.g., enemies, terrorists, etc.). The only people who will be left in the dark are the American people. Does this mean that the spy state now considers us to be the enemy?