Dec 05 2013

How Governments on Both Sides of the Atlantic Are Targeting Freedom of the Press

The editor of the Guardian newspaper this week faced intense political scrutiny from his own government. Alan Rusbridger was asked to appear for a parliamentary hearing on terrorism on Tuesday and faced aggressive questioning from the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. At the heart of the hearing was the assumption that the Guardian, by publishing the stories of NSA surveillance based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the paper had jeopardized national security.

Rusbridger was even asked at one point during the hearing if he loved his country. He maintained throughout that freedom of press was one of the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. The Guardian’s journalists have faced close scrutiny, meetings with intelligence officials that they consider intimidation, and even had some of their computer hard drives physically destroyed.

While the US has not yet had similar Congressional hearings, attacks on journalism in the wake of the NSA scandal are no less insidious. Whistle blowers have been prosecuted and jailed, and individual journalists have been closely surveilled.

GUEST: Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” and “Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State”.

Click here to read Norman Solomon’s latest article on this topic.

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