A newly obtained email chain between DOJ and White House officials proves the two government entities colluded to impede the investigative reporting of former CBS reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. At the time, Attkisson was working on a government scandal story. Judicial Watch obtained the email via Freedom of Information Act request.
On October 11, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder's Press Secretary, Tracy Schmaler, told White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz, "I'm also calling Sharryl's [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She's out of control"
Schultz replied, "Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG."
The email chain also includes details about the White House working with another journalist release a report intended to smear Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), who was leading investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal.
"And I sent NJ's Susan Davis your way. She's writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc."
Susan Davis, at the time, worked for the National Journal. Davis released a scathing profile of Issa a few weeks later. Davis has since deleted the post from her blog.
A previous article, "FBI Accused of Publishing a Fabricated AP Story, Impersonating Seattle Times" details not only the FBI impersonating "free press" but also the almost unbelievable placement of the United States on the latest press freedom poll.
"Shockingly, the United States has fallen to 46th place in terms of press freedom in a 2014 Reporters Without Borders poll. This World Press Freedom Index purports to measure the degree to which freedom of information is protected in countries around the world."
"The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies."
"The 2014 report is quite telling and revealing about world-wide trends. Some notable countries with a greater degree of freedom of press than the United States include the following: Costa Rica (21), Ghana (27), South Africa (42), Romania (45), El Salvador (38). To put this shocking poll into perspective, the United States' ranks near countries like Niger (48), Burkina Faso (42), Senegal (62) which is a a far cry from being the most free country in the world."
Sharyl Attkisson quit CBS for good reason and has since written a book, Stonewalled, which details the unprecedented governmental attacks on the "free press." In addition to CBS kowtowing to the demands of the United States government, Attkisson claims her computer had also been hacked and portions of her stories were deleted before her eyes.
Attkisson now publishes articles to her personal website, often releasing shocking details about the incredible level of government interference with the press. Most recently, Attkisson published a piece on how advisers worked with current Attorney General Eric Holder to "manipulate the press on Fast and Furious" (government scandal). Attkisson also details how the DOJ pressured mainstream media outlets to not publish articles which would show Holder and his department in a bad light. Note that President Obama withheld these subpoenaed documents via executive order, marking the first time that had been done in history. The documents were released on the eve of the midterm elections. The job of mainstream media is now to report what powerful allow them to and refuse to publish things contrary to their agenda.
"Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing."
― George Orwell, 1984
Orwell has been a popular quote since Edward Snowden revealed both the breadth and scope of government spying. Once relegated to the likes of unbelievable conspiracy theories, mass government spying has since become a source of serious concern for American citizens. In my opinion, we are indebted to the sacrifices Snowden made so that the public could become aware of the unconstitutional practices of the United States government. The American public, for the most part, has opened its eyes and the majority of its citizens are "seriously concerned" about the governmental spying practices.
Even in the face of threats and bullying, Sharyl Atkission is bringing to light details about the egregious acts of the United States government against the free press. The details should be of equal concern for the American to what Snowden revealed. Not only have we witnessed an unprecedented attack on investigative journalism, the United States government is using the "free press" to its advantage. A free press is at the core of a free nation and that free press is quickly vanishing before our very eyes. Haven't we long accused communist nations of such propagandistic processes?
The Oxford dictionary describes propaganda as "chiefly derogatory Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view"
Stalin would be proud. Nixon would be jealous. Orwell predicted it. Attkisson is speaking. Are you listening?
Image credit: Teheran US embassy propaganda Statue of Liberty