“The Obama administration has waged an unprecedented war on whistle-blowers or “leakers.” He’s prosecuted more individuals for alleged leaks than all previous U.S. presidents combined. Unlike Bush, the Obama administration does not simply retaliate against people that go to the press to reveal the truth of what the U.S. government is doing. They target them with prosecutions. And, to date, six people have faced prosecutions under the flawed and outdated Espionage Act of 1917.
This war on whistle-blowing or leaking has created a climate that makes government employees very reluctant to talk to reporters or journalists on the record. It chills free speech and freedom of the press. It makes media organizations more deferent to power. To avoid being targeted by government for engaging in actual muckraking journalism, journalists form cozy relationships hoping to be spoon-fed scoops that can form best-selling books like New York Times’ journalist David Sanger’s recent book, Confront and Conceal, or Newsweek correspondent Daniel Klaidman’s Kill or Capture. They ask permission before going to publish and carefully frame their reporting as merely informative so as not to upset the officials who provided them with scoops. They do not draw any important conclusions about government, or in these cases the national security state, which might alienate sources, because they want to be able to talk to officials for future stories or books.” - Kevin Gosztola, civil liberties writer & co-author of “Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning”