Was Barack Obama ever sued

United States: Journalists complain of repression by the Obama administration

US journalists complain that the administration of US President Barack Obama has dealt with the press in an unprecedented manner. This is made clear by a study by the press rights organization Committee to Protect Journalists. Accordingly, the authorities are acting very aggressively to protect information.

The study was written by Leonard Downie Jr., former editor-in-chief of Washington Post. He was involved in the exposure of the Watergate scandal, as a result of which then President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. Now Downie writes that the Obama administration is the most aggressive in dealing with the press since Nixon.

For the study, the journalist spoke to 30 experienced Washington correspondents. None of them could remember ever having been so handicapped in their work as by the current government.

In his first presidential election campaign, Obama complained about the "excessive secrecy" of then President George W. Bush and promised great transparency after taking over the government.

"The most closed control freak government"

But the opposite has happened: members of the government have now even refused to reveal simple facts. "This is the most closed control freak government I have ever reported," Downie quoted his colleague from the New York Times, David E. Sanger.

Another problem is the persecution of whistleblowers and investigative journalists. Since 2009, eight people have been sued for leaking secret data to the press. All of the previous governments added up to just three people.

The revelations by Edward Snowden also led to a massive impairment of journalists: the massive surveillance of communications by US secret services scares off possible informants, according to the study. "I am now afraid to call someone because the mere contact can be exposed," said Jeffrey Smith from Center for Public Integrity cited in the study. He has been reporting on US security agencies for decades.