Over the past eight years, the [Obama] administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.Now that the power must be handed over to Trump, it's time to put a spotlight on all of Obama's overreaching.
Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.
I experienced this pressure firsthand....
The administration’s heavy-handed approach represents a sharp break with tradition. For decades, official Washington did next to nothing to stop leaks....But isn't that what the liberal media demanded at the time?
Things began to change in the Bush era, particularly after the Valerie Plame case. The 2003 outing of Ms. Plame as a covert C.I.A. operative led to a criminal leak investigation, which in turn led to a series of high-profile Washington journalists’ being subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and name the officials who had told them about her identity. Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter, went to jail for nearly three months before finally testifying in the case.
The Plame case began to break down the informal understanding between the government and the news media that leaks would not be taken seriously....
Fortunately, power shifts from one party to the other. That's some kind of safeguard. If you exaggerate your power, your successor will have exaggerated power.
Unfortunately, people are short-sighted.