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Thought Crimes

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?



  1. Don wrote:

    I pretty glad I’m retired. At least for me, being able to address “unauthorized” leaks – meaning rumors whether employee engendered or fomented by the public – was critical to being able to maintain an effective working environment for our employees and healthy communications with the public. It is sad to say that the Obama Administration has been very aggressive in seeking out those that have blown the whistle on inappropriate or “secret” government activities. Whistle blower protections have already been gutted and this just takes it to an even lower level than before.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  2. Zed wrote:

    And instead of actual oversight on this we get Obamacare repeal votes and the Benghazi sideshow. Of course, this is because they want to preserve the spy state for when their guy is in office.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  3. David Freeman wrote:

    Ditto on what ZED said. Responsible criticism is essential to effective government.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink
  4. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Zed and David -that’s completely true with the house, but I’d have to say where is the senate on this, where is Harry and Nancy. Both parties want to limit the press and only play their stories.

    But we’ll elect them all again, and again and again…

    IK for President.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink
  5. Patricia wrote:

    Is think really Obama alone decision, or bad advisement from under controlled bureaucratic staff protecting turf that can’t be changed at the ballot box?

    Monday, May 12, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I think you are closing in on the real culprits Patricia

    Monday, May 12, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink