Apparently the war on whistle-blowers is working as the CEO of the Associated Press now says sources will no longer talk out of fear. It seems the program of intimidation by the Obama Administration is a success.
Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear.
Pruitt said the department broke its own rules with the seizure, which he said was too broad, and by failing to give the AP notice of the subpoena. Pruitt questioned the DoJ’s actions concerning the subpoena — had the DoJ come to the news organization in advance, “we could have helped them narrow the scope of the subpoena” or a court could have decided, he said.
Pruitt does not seem to understand – or is pretending not to understand – that sources not talking was the entire point.
“The actions of the DoJ against AP are already having an impact beyond the specifics of this particular case,” he said. “Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even on stories that aren’t about national security. And in some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”
“This chilling effect is not just at AP, it’s happening at other news organizations as well,” Pruitt added. “Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me it has intimidated sources from speaking to them. Now, the government may love this. I suspect they do. But beware the government that loves secrecy too much.”
It’s a feature not a bug. Now all leaks will be official leaks (never to be investigated) and if the AP wants to report the news it will have to do it as the government wants it to or not at all. It’s a free press, kind of.