Former CBS correspondent and investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, testified at the congressional confirmation hearing of Loretta Lynch and had some pretty poignant things to say about the "vindictive" nature of the current administration.
"In 2013, Reporters Without Borders downgraded America's standing in the global free press rankings, rating the Obama administration as worse than Bush's. It matters not that when caught the government promises to dial back or that [FOX News'] James Rosen gets an apology. The message has already been received. If you cross this administration with perfectly accurate reporting they don't like, you will be attacked and punished. You and your sources may be subjected to the kind of surveillance devised for enemies of the state.
For much of history, the United States has held itself out as a model of freedom, democracy, and open accountable government. Freedoms of expression and association are of course protected by the constitution. Today those freedoms are under assault due to government policies of secrecy, leak prevention, and officials contact with the media, combined with large scale surveillance programs. The nominee if confirmed should chart a new path and reject the damaging policies and practices that have been used by others in the past. If we aren't grave enough to confront these concerns, it could do serious long-term damage to a supposedly free press. Thank you." Watch her entire statement below.
Attkisson claims she has been subject to incredible surveil techniques due to her investigative efforts on some of the administrations scandals, including Benghazi and Fast and Furious. Attkisson recently released raw cell phone video of what looks like a hackers remotely infiltrating her computer and deleting data.
It is no secret that the Obama administration has been the worst administration on record when it comes to punishing journalists aiding the release of "state secrets. Investigative Journalist Jake Tapper perfectly sums it up: "The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists…more than all previous administrations combined." The FBI has also been accused of fabricating AP stories and impersonating the Seattle Times to "lure a target into clicking on the malicious link so they could hack his computer."
The Obama administration is largely considered the most "secretive" administration even though Obama promised to run the most "transparent administration in history." As a result of the aforementioned tactics, the United States has shockingly fallen to 46th in terms of press freedom throughout the world. Attkisson testified in an effort to reverse a egregious attack on the free press and first amendment rights. Will her efforts, along with other free speech advocates, create any significant change?