Jun 06 2014
The US Supreme Court has announced that it will not intervene in the case of the New York Times’ James Risen over the reporter’s refusal to reveal one of his sources. Risen, who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize is facing possible prison time even though the ability of a journalist to protect his or her sources from being publicly revealed is sacrosanct to preserving press freedoms.
Meanwhile, the world’s most famous whistle blower, Edward Snowden, remains in Russia on temporary asylum, because in revealing himself as the source of the NSA’s secret documentation on mass surveillance, he faces espionage charges in the US.
Both these cases are part of a disturbing trend away from transparency and public accountability. On the one year anniversary of Snowden’s revelations, a group of journalists and activists have founded a new organization called ExposeFacts, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.
ExposeFacts has the backing of that other famous whistleblower – Daniel Ellsberg – who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the US’s conduct in the Vietnam War. He said in a statement welcoming the founding of ExposeFacts, “All governments lie, and they all like to work in the dark as far as the public is concerned.”
NOTE: Uprising host, Sonali Kolhatkar is a member of the founding editorial board of ExposeFacts alongside Norman Solomon, Sam Husseini, John Hanrahan, and Barbara Ehrenreich. A larger group of 40 journalists and activists sits on the advisory board of ExposeFacts, including Pratap Chatterjee, Michelle Chen, Arun Gupta, Dahr Jamail, Nomi Prins, Daniel Ellsberg, and William Binney.
GUEST: William Binney, former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement after 30 years, blew the whistle on NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007. Even before Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, Binney publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies’ domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 to 20 trillion communications.