Obama Administration Has Put Media Leakers In Jail For Nearly 50 Times As Long As All Other Administrations In History

from the ouch dept

We’ve been among those who have pointed out that the “most transparent administration in history,” the Obama administration, has prosecuted media leakers more than all other Presidents in history combined (eight prosecutions in this administration, compared to three total in all previous administrations). Gabe Rottman, over at the ACLU, decided to dig into another stat: how much time has the Obama administration been able to lock up media leakers in jail compared to all other administrations. The answer? The Obama administration has put folks who leaked info to the media in jail for 526 months as compared to 24 months for all other Presidents combined. Admittedly, 420 of those months went to Chelsea Manning, but even if you take that out, we’re still talking 106 months for other leakers in cases from this one administration vs. 24 months for all other administrations.

It once again has to make you wonder why the Obama Administration is so focused on punishing anyone who leaks information to the media (even as it likes to “unofficially” leak information all the time). In the end, I keep going back to the speculation I heard from Daniel Ellsberg nearly four years ago (which is also where I first heard the stat about the number of Obama prosecutions against leakers — at that time, it was just five prosecutions, rather than eight).

Ellsberg’s theory was that while President Bush abused the power of the Presidency in the surveillance realm, he was actually proud of it. And while people were upset about secrets leaking, they didn’t find it embarrassing. President Obama, on the other hand, came into office claiming to be different — arguing against those kinds of abuses and promising changes and protections for civil rights. Instead, it appears that the process started under President Bush continued and expanded under President Obama and — Ellsberg speculated years ago — the President is somewhat embarrassed by this, leading him and his administration to react negatively to the leaks. Not because of any legitimate security concern, but to try to silence those who seek to reveal that the administration and the President have not come close to living up to their ideals but rather went the other way entirely.

Putting those who leaked info to the media in jail for 526 months — nearly 44 years — says a lot about the way the administration truly views whistleblowing, and it’s not a saying anything good.

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Comments on “Obama Administration Has Put Media Leakers In Jail For Nearly 50 Times As Long As All Other Administrations In History”

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35 Comments
Dave Cortright says:

Reaction formation much?

Another person’s reaction to your actions say a lot more about them than you. It’s a classic case of reaction formation.

I am reminded of this NY Times article reporting on the empirical evidence that some of the most vocal anti-gay people out there are actually gay themselves and have not yet come to terms with that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Obama Administration Has Put Media Leakers In Jail For Nearly 50 Times As Long As All Other Administrations In History

Followed, in the first paragraph by

…has put folks who leaked info to the media in jail for 526 months as compared to 24 months for all other Presidents combined. Admittedly, 420 of those months went to Chelsea Manning…

Come the fuck on! If you can’t even support the headline in the first paragraph of your story, you need to get thee back to school.

I don’t expect much of Techdirt, but this is just sad. Really?

This is dumber than GamerGate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

How was Chelsea Manning not a whistleblower? Frankly, her sentence should very much be counted as part of the total, military justice system or not. She blew the whistle, she got charged and thrown in jail for a stupid amount of time.

No, that she was subject to a parallel justice system instead of the civilian one that sentenced all the others shouldn’t matter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: News vs News

This is not lying, this is corruption of power. The boot-licking media is at fault for NOT holding this Administration accountable.

“The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists … more than all previous administrations combined.”
-CNN host Jake Tapper in January

In 2010, apparently for the first time ever, the Obama administration named a journalist in court documents as a probable “co-conspirator” in the release of government secrets, according to the Guardian.

And last year, the Justice Department notified the Associated Press that it had seized records for more than 20 AP phone lines – something the president of AP condemned as “a massive and unprecedented intrusion.”

Christenson says:

Boss Tweed, Anyone?

Obama resembles no one so much as Boss Tweed of the beginning of the 20th century….and heck yes, I am disappointed!

TSA no fly list, NSA mass surveillance, FCC net neutrality, almost no bankers in jail, CIA renditions/kidnapping and drone murders, violent cops, and copyright and patent trolls! (Feel free to nominate more — where the heck is DOJ in Ferguson and Hammond??)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Boss Tweed, Anyone?

He didn’t bring you Single Payer Health System (bravo to Vermont and it experimenting with it as we speak though) that a large minority of Democratic reps actually want, but he brought you something way better than what you had before, He should go down in history for bringing you something similar to the Dutch system, which is another industrialized country.

Now if he would bring you a social climate / Law through Executive Orders up the wazoo if needed, if the Democratics can’t get the House back in this mid-term (and they most likey won’t, hell, some alarmists are saying Dems might lose the Senate, which I very much doubt) that is like of the Netherlands, oh and a military’s point of existence like that country too, you might actually get surplus like in the Clinton years again.

Anonymous Coward says:

what do you expect to happen when the Obama Administration is so heavily backed by the entertainment industries? almost everything they have asked for, the Administration has fallen over itself to give, just like Congress! there isn’t even a single way to get compensation from those industries for doing wrong, because the law has been made so there can be no way to get it! that leads to the industries just doing whatever the hell they want with no bill to pay when they (purposefully) fuck things up!

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Corporate owned Government is not a new thing in America.

After World War Two ended, industries like Alcoa, Texaco, Bayer and others, were paid millions of dollars from American Tax Payers, to repay them for the damage done to their Germany-based factories by Allied bombing.

Some of the top members of the American Top 500 companies are so Fascist based and Anti-American-Way, that they aided the Germans in WW2 by building their factories right in Germany, while still reaping the benefits of being American and supplying America’s war effort as well.

To a Fascist, War is simply the ultimate business model.

For an interesting perspective on Fascism, Oil and Cannabis, read The “Elkhorn Manifesto”.

David says:

Well, and ashamed he should be

Obama has been playing turncoat like someone inheriting the throne to the Ninja Mafia after great clamors of reform, and then figuring he’ll make the best of the developed talent he got.

Murder, fraud, interference with justice to the point of obliterating it, lies, blackmail, corruption, corruption, corruption.

His presidency will be remembered like the papal reign of Alexander VI of the Borgia family.

Unless the culmination is yet to come, of course.

GEMont (profile) says:

A dish best served cold...

“Obama Administration Has Put Media Leakers In Jail For Nearly 50 Times As Long As All Other Administrations In History”

As fascism slowly erodes the barriers against land piracy by the wealthy, you will see more and more of this kind of lawful retribution against the minions of the fascists in power, for what is seen as “traitorous behavior” by the ruling elite. Since they own the media, all employees are considered to be minions and are thus, also owned.

To a Fascist, the paycheck given to minions demands total loyalty in return. An employee turning on his employer by disclosing criminal behavior, is seen by Fascists as the prime crime, worthy of the most severe punishment possible.

The Mob uses the exact same process in dealing with their own members who “rat”, for the exact same purpose.

To send a message. “Squealers suffer badly!”

Methinks you will see this kind of legalised revenge against turn-coat minions become standard policy as the Federal Government and its corporate owners becomes less and less democratic and more openly fascist, and the minions begin to realize they are working for the enemy.

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