Imprisoning Journalists

May 22, 2006 — Leave a comment

This is simultaneously chilling and yet not surprising:

The administration’s assault on a free and vital press took a huge leap forward this weekend, when Attorney General Alberto Gonazles announced on national television that the Bush administration has the power to imprison journalists who publish stories revealing conduct by the President which the administration wants to conceal (such as the warrantless NSA eavesdropping program, which he specifically cited). Gonazles went further and made clear that the administration is actively considering prosecution against journalists who publish such stories. The video is here.

It really is hard to imagine any measures which pose a greater and more direct danger to our freedoms than the issuance of threats like this by the administration against the press. If the President has the power to keep secret any information he wants simply by classifying it — including information regarding illegal or otherwise improper actions he has taken — then the President, by definition, has complete control over the flow of information which Americans receive about their Government.

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