If You're Worried About What President Trump Can Do To The Press, Blame President Obama

from the look-at-that-roadmap dept

President Elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his dislike for any reporter who reports stuff about him in a negative light, and throughout the campaign and even after being elected, he has spent a tremendous amount of time insulting, attacking and berating the press. Oh, and threatening them with bogus defamation claims that rarely seem to turn into actual lawsuits. Trump famously promised to "open up" the libel laws if he became President, though there really isn't that much he can do on that issue directly.

But, as a story at Politco is noting, it's probably not libel laws that reporters should be worried about: it's things like the Espionage Act and bogus intrusive investigations of reporters by the DOJ. And, really, while the report only mentions this in passing, if a President Trump goes down that route, it'll be because he's picking up on the trend created by his predecessor, President Obama. As we've noted, President Obama has used the Espionage Act against more whistleblowers than all other Presidents in history combined. In fact, he used it more than twice as many times as all others combined. Think about that.
During the Obama administration, the Justice Department brought more criminal charges under the Espionage Act—a vague 1917 law that makes it illegal to share information related to national security—than it had under all previous presidents combined. It used the Espionage Act seven times against government employees who spoke to reporters. If Trump continues to aggressively prosecute reporters’ sources, it will make it much tougher for journalists to report on the government.

“What is very true is that an increase in prosecution of leakers and leak investigations has a huge chilling effect on the ability to report important information about what the government is up to,” said Laura Handman, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine who specializes in media and First Amendment law.

This could be especially damaging to journalists because confidential sources and government leakers are likely to be the best source of exposing potential wrongdoing in Trump’s government.
And that's not the only intimidating tip that a President Trump could pick up from President Obama:
Trump’s Justice Department could also ask for more federal grand jury subpoenas against reporters who rely on confidential sources to report on government activities.

This is another tactic that the Obama administration has used. New York Times reporter James Risen was nearly held in contempt of court and thrown in jail when he refused to identify one of his sources, who was being prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

The Trump administration could even try to use the Espionage Act to bring criminal charges against journalists, according to First Amendment experts.

“There are sections of the Espionage Act which have now been used, under President Obama, against leakers which could be used against those who publish information obtained from those leakers,” Abrams said.
The article also talks about the infamous and ridiculous case of James Rosen, a Fox News reporter that the Obama administration came mighty close to using the Espionage Act on, calling Rosen a "co-conspirator" in the leaking of confidential information. Then Attorney General Eric Holder later admitted he regretted this decision, but it was pretty difficult to take seriously.

Here at Techdirt we called out the Obama administration many, many times on these highly questionable tactics, intimidating and threatening whistleblowers and journalists alike. And people told us we were overreacting. Somehow, I get the feeling that those who opposed Trump in the election will suddenly have a change of heart over these practices. If Trump goes down that road, those who are upset should be blaming President Obama and his Justice Department for leading the way.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:41am

    "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

    If Trump goes down that road, those who are upset should be blaming President Obama and his Justice Department for leading the way.

    Yes and no.

    If Trump follows the same road Obama certainly deserves the blame for opening up the possibilities in the first place, but even so Trump wouldn't be any less responsible for his actions, as the fact that Obama did it first doesn't mean Trump has to follow suit.

    There is more than enough responsibility and blame to cover both of them if Trump decides to do a little 'witch hunting' of his own, no need to pick and choose.

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    • icon
      Oninoshiko (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 8:46am

      Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

      That's a fair cop.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:46am

      Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

      Just so. Another example:

      Back during the Clinton administration several people were being held for years without trial or defense on secret accusations of links to terrorism.

      Even "News of the Weird" reported on it. (Admittedly, it was pretty weird. At the time.)

      In June 1999, News of the Weird reported that Palestinian researcher (and 15-year U.S. resident) Mazen Al-Najjar had just completed his second year of federal incarceration in Bradenton, Fla., having never been charged with a crime and never told of the "evidence" against him. In February 2000, the FBI's General Counsel told a House immigration subcommittee that four other men are similarly incarcerated with no chance to present favorable evidence or to cross-examine witnesses against them. These exceptions to fundamental American rights are apparently permitted under a 1996 anti-terrorism law even though the "terrorism" evidence is known only to a few people in the U.S. government.

      (Al-Najjar was released and deported after five years, after a judge ruled the government had no evidence to continue holding him.)

      And so Bush II had the precedent he needed to hold people without trial by the hundreds. Many now half-way through their second decade of imprisonment without trial.

      So, yeah. Bill Clinton gets plenty of blame for Bush II's actions, but that doesn't absolve Bush II. Or Obama for that matter. While Obama repeatedly tried to shut down Guantanamo, there was a stunning lack of leadership on his part for not succeeding.

      And I don't doubt for an instant that Trump will take advantage of the precedent set by the previous three administrations.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

        While Obama repeatedly tried to shut down Guantanamo, there was a stunning lack of leadership on his part for not succeeding.

        I don't think there is anything he could have done to get the Republican Congress to go along with that, and AFAIK he couldn't do it without their cooperation.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

          Congress was controlled by the democrats his first 2 years in office. He also had the power of the pulpit but chose not to use it either.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

            Unfortunately the Democrats never had a supermajority. When your every move can be blocked, your "control" doesn't mean much.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

              Did they ever attempt to shut it down? Or do let them of the hook without even trying?

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            • identicon
              Thad, 12 Dec 2016 @ 4:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

              Weeeell, they managed 60 votes to pass the ACA (though that requires counting Joe Lieberman as a Democrat, which I think was a questionable proposition even before he ran for his last term as a third-party candidate). But yeah, they certainly didn't have a 60-vote bloc for a full two years as the narrative often holds.

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              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

                They never had 60 votes at ANY time.

                The ACA required a deal between all sides. Plus the votes from the "Senator for Aetna" and another independent. Plus a Republican not voting.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 8:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

              Actually they did for around 5-8 months.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 13 Dec 2016 @ 9:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

                When? By the time Senator Al Franken was sworn in - Republicans had contested his election for seven months - Senator Byrd of West Virginia was hospitalized and out of commission. Then Senator Ted Kennedy died.

                Paul Kirk eventually replaced Kennedy. But Byrd was out for the rest of the year, by which time a deal had already been made on the ACA and it had passed.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

          He could have appealed to the American people, and explained to them why the right to a trial is important. Just look at Jon Stewart's rallying the public to get the Zadroga Bill passed and later renewed in the face of Republican opposition. I'm pretty sure that even without a supermajority, Obama can get more publicity than a comedy show host. Especially on an issue dealing with basic legal rights.

          Or he could have closed it with an executive order. Sure, he signed such an order to transfer detainees to where they could have proper trials. Sure, Congress blocked it by withholding funding. But Obama could have gone further, ordering "Try them or we release them."

          Given that the whole thing was unconstitutional to begin with - the whole point of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp being the false claim that it was outside U.S. legal jurisdiction - it would be a valid use of an executive order. If Republicans tried to take it to court, well, demanding the illegal in court wouldn't go well for them.

          Republicans would have screamed "he's releasing ter'rists!" But given the number of detainees eventually released - or still detained having been cleared years ago - Obama should have shown some leadership and explained how most were NOT terrorists. The Republicans were always going to scream about something anyway.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

        When you consider that around half of the country is in favor of torture, it's no surprise that Gitmo is still open.

        There's no public support for it even if Obama wanted to close it. There's always "what would we do with the detainees?" as if I dunno - a trial - would be out of the question.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

          Yup. After it was widely known that the US had become a torture state, Bush II was re-elected by an even wider margin. Those responsible have no fear of prosecution, can still show up as pundits on national TV and can still teach law at Berkeley.

          In the 2012 and 2016 elections Republican candidates called for torture to resume because it *helped* their chances in the primaries. Without a hint of a scandal about it by the Democrats or the general public.

          This is not a country that has ended torture. At most it's a country that has paused torture for the current administration.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 1:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

          as if I dunno - a trial - would be out of the question.

          The government knows full well there is not remotely enough evidence to try most of the people, let alone convict them. The options are to hold them indefinitely without charges, or let them go somewhere. Since apparently most people consider someone subhuman once they have been accused of terrorism, option A is being favored.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:08pm

            "They might do to us what we did to them! Better to just throw away the key and any 'rights', just to be safe."

            I think one of the more disgusting excuses I've run across, though it's been a good while so while I'm fairly certain it was from one of those directly involved I can't say for certain, was that they couldn't 'risk' trials as the people that would be released might carry a grudge against the US for locking them up without trial for so long, and become a threat because of that.

            Just... let that stew a few seconds. 'We can't let them go after treating them this bad, they might decide to return the favor and treat us as enemies!' That exact same logic could be used to lock up anyone, for life, all without a trial.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:22pm

              Re: "They might do to us what we did to them! Better to just throw away the key and any 'rights', just to be safe."

              Sounds like something Rumsfeld would say.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 12:57pm

              Re: "They might do to us what we did to them! Better to just throw away the key and any 'rights', just to be safe."

              To be fair Jamal Al-Harith apparently did join ISIL after he was released from Gitmo and collected 1 mio. pounds from UK for human rights violations (the irony of UK and USA cooperating when USA is refusing to recognize those rights...).

              When that is said the reasoning is a torturers dilemma: If you ever release the victim, you have released an enemy for life.
              Unless you trust Hollywoods depiction, torture is mostly hurting the torturer, while almost never giving useful information.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 13 Dec 2016 @ 1:53pm

                Re: Re: "They might do to us what we did to them! Better to just throw away the key and any 'rights', just to be safe."

                When that is said the reasoning is a torturers dilemma: If you ever release the victim, you have released an enemy for life.

                It's definitely a risk. It's disgusting that the people in charge of the torturing are not willing to accept the consequences of it by accepting that risk, but insist on putting the remaining burden on those that were already tortured. If the American people are OK with torturing our enemies, they should also be OK with the fact that that is going to create more enemies. But instead they want it both ways - waterboard those dirty terrorists, and then lock them up for life because now they might be mad at us.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2016 @ 3:32am

      Re: "Don't blame me, he did it first!"

      Obama set new horrible precedents for the left. If Trump follows suit, few on the left will be able to protest without being obvious hypocrites running away from their own prior statements made when Obama was president. Because Obama did it first, it will be about a hundred times more difficult for the left to mount any kind of effective opposition to Trump doing the same things.

      Trump can be blamed for his own actions, obviously — I don't think anyone was suggesting otherwise — but Obama can be blamed for screwing the pooch for all time. A hundred years from now Republicans will still be pointing to Obama's administration to indemnify their own actions from scrutiny by the left.

      The only way out of this fix is for Obama's legacy to be rightfully tarnished and exposed by the left as the shitshow it always was. How likely do you think that is? Nobody is going to want to tar the presidency of the first black president. America is fucked.

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  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:06am

    Turn about etc

    I would find it uproarious if Trump turned around and used those same tactics against the old guard that allowed Obama to do what he did.
    It's sheer fantasy but blasting the FBI et al as liars with respect to the hacking is either genius or the first Salvo in his reorganization of all the agencies answerable to him.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:08am

    Don't worry. Trump will only use this against the media who speak negatively against him. As long as they only say positive things and end every single story with "Oh my he has a gigantic penis" he won't be forced to use the Espionage act against them.

    But seriously, this is pure bullshit. No president should be going after whistleblowers. They should be completely above it. I don't care if the whistleblower released to the public the plans to the Government's Death Star and their thermal exhaust port weakness. They should net be in jail. If the information released even has a single sniff of possibly, maybe for the public good it should be completely protected.

    The only time I would entertain any type of punishment is if the information was released with the direct intention of hurting others. For example, mining the social Security database and selling that information for identity theft. Or downloading a person's private medical history and releasing it to the media to the media to destroy their career and life.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      I don't care if the whistleblower released to the public the plans to the Government's Death Star and their thermal exhaust port weakness.

      I KNEW IT!!

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    • identicon
      David, 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:47am

      BS and BS

      But seriously, this is pure bullshit. No president should be going after whistleblowers.

      It probably depends on the definition of whistleblower. However, what is pure bullshit in the first place is the Espionage Act. Not being allowed to defend your actions in court? What kind of justice is that supposed to be?

      It's like prohibiting someone accused of attempted murder by slitting one's throat to explain that the person had a crushed windpipe and would have suffocated otherwise.

      Not being allowed to fill in the picture for any accusation is ridiculous.

      And to make matters even more ridiculous: the judge is not even allowed to consider such circumstances if he gets to know them, and the jury must not know them either and, if they accidentally get to know them, must not consider them.

      And prosecutional discretion means that this prepackaged "guilty" verdict may be handed out on a whim so that you avoid hitting people with it who objectively fit the facts but are good old boys. Like Petraeus. Or good old girls.

      It's a tool that essentially bypasses the court and hands the verdict to the state prosecutor as soon as we are talking about established facts ("I did not do it" remains the only permissible defense, obviously not a realistic approach for successful whistleblowers).

      The Espionage Act never has been anything but unwarranted bullshit perverting the course of justice.

      There may be forms of whistleblowing that warrant punishment, and some that don't. But judge and jury don't get to decide about that once the Espionage Act is invoked.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:10am

    Mike, this article is a clear violation of Human Rights. I explain: by criticizing both the Democrats and the Republicans in a single article you are literally torturing their little brains. I'm afraid I'll have to denounce you to the proper channels.

    Also, the CIA might be interested in having a chat with you.




    Disclaimer: in case somebody doesn't notice this is a joke. Ahem.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      By their little brains I mean our partisan trolls. My bad ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Re:

        But...but by my very scientific studies of this article, he criticized one side 2% less than the other. He is bought and sold, I tell ya. I demand that he criticize the other side that I don't like!
        Bah! who am I talking to? our side is so opressed because the other side cheats.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 13 Dec 2016 @ 7:21am

        Re: Re:

        To be fair the partisan BS appears to have died down. I've not seen any "Worship Our Glorious Leader at once or you'll be damned for all eternity. Damned, I tell you!" for a while now.

        Perhaps they've kept their solemn vow to bugger off.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:16am

    Under Obama's presidency, journalists continue to be stopped at the border because "national security".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      This kindof stuff makes me really angry and frustrated at our government. We are so f-ing partisan that nobody will call out the President for the BS that is. I voted for Obama and I think that actions like that are reprehensible.
      The media is just as complicit. They spend ten times more time on freaking facebook memes than anything that actually affects our lives.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re:

        Th partisan divide has distracted the people from the real divide and which side Trump is on, that between the people and the corporate owners.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'll clarify your statement one bit from what I've seen this past month: "that between the people and what directly benefits Trump."

          It seems pretty much every single move he has made always answers "So what is in it for me?" He is less beholden to corporate overlords like the rest of the GOP. Instead he is willing the be the useful puppet/idiot for anyone who will make him personally richer.

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      • identicon
        I.T. Guy, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        It's a "two party" system that's part of the same coin.

        Heads you lose and tails you lose. Thanks for playing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:19am

    Well, he is certainly starting out in the opposite direction by smacking down CIAs security briefings. I am not sure security and thus information security is much of a concern for him.

    He seems much more concerned about what he percieves as personal attacks and irrationally tries to defame the author and/or get the last word. Quite a narc., just like Erdogan.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      Just wait until Putin promises Trump tax benefits and cheap loans for any project he has in Russia or an allied territory.

      All he has to do is give Russia some information from those security briefings. He will help Trump understand what they mean.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      "I am not sure security and thus information security is much of a concern for him."

      As opposed to Obama, or several other past presidents? The difference between Obama and Trump in this regard is that Obama had enough sense to keep his mouth shut as he goes about not being very concerned with information or security.

      It's only a problem for you now because of Trumps mouth running about it?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re:

        Well I am happily awaiting the time when Obama or Clinton can no longer be used as "the worse Ctulhu". Relativism is and has always been a crappy argument for nothing being better than anything.

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  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:23am

    Why can't I just wake up?

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  • identicon
    ReasonToTheRescue, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:42am

    Don't blame the figureheads

    I've always looked to the agencies not the figureheads who purportedly represent them when it comes to blame.

    Presidents and department heads come and go.

    What remains are the agencies, the long term staff members who are not elected and have their own agendas...

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:17am

      Re: Don't blame the figureheads

      Presidents and department heads come and go.

      What remains are the agencies, the long term staff members who are not elected and have their own agendas...

      Yet the agencies under Obama have used the Espionage Act more than twice as much as any other. So unless you think that's just coincidence, clearly the people in charge matter a lot.

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      • identicon
        ReasonToTheRescue, 12 Dec 2016 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: Don't blame the figureheads

        Or these agencies and non-elected employees plans are simply progressing.

        Not saying people in charge don't matter, only that the ones to really worry about aren't elected and have been there along with their buddies for decades undermining accountability day by day by day...

        Perhaps in the distant future when electing officials, the staff that's been their for 20 years would need to move on along with all the baggage they bring to D.C. After all they are the continuity between elected officials. They hold onto the 'corruption' from one president to the next...

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the figureheads

          Or these agencies and non-elected employees plans are simply progressing.

          Then why did the progress suddenly accelerate massively when Obama took office? It doesn't add up. Clearly this is because of the administration, not because of the bureaucrats.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 7:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the figureheads

            It is a bit easy to blame Obama in such cases. Several republicans in congress were unsatisfied by how little Obama did on that front!

            There is a reason why an area of Washington DC is called the beltway and no it doesn't primarily refer to roads. It is a completely different world, heavily influenced by lobbyists and contractors.

            The only way to drain the swamp of contractors is reducing ie. military spending to reduce the state inside the state and to remove other issues from public responssibility. I guarantee you that neither Trump, democrats or republicans are willing to take such drastic measures. At best they are able to stir up the swamp a bit.

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  • identicon
    TripMN, 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:44am

    Remember

    When writing rules, do not write them for yourself or your side's use of them. Instead write them for when the inevitable change of power happens and the other team has the power. Only by doing that can you have a chance the power will not be abused by either side.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 11:05am

      Re: Remember

      Exactly. Just like when the Dems used the nuclear option in the Senate to get federal judges appointed. Don't get mad when the republicans do it too.

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  • identicon
    Stosh, 12 Dec 2016 @ 10:19am

    So following a policy is "good" when we're in power and "bad" if the other side wins, because if the voters know what's good for them, we will be in office forever...

    Just so wrong regardless of which party is on the in or out.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 10:59am

    This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

    Glenn Thrush is ground zero for fake news.

    And the MSM wonders why no one trusts them...

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/12/12/new-york-times-hires-glenn-thrush-wikileak s-humiliation/

    New York Times Hires Glenn Thrush After Wikileaks Humiliation

    Thrush sends several paragraphs about Hillary’s fundraising operation and leads into the article by admitting, “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 12:15pm

      Re: This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

      To be clear, Glenn Thrush's "Wikileaks Humiliation" is that he was caught fact checking.

      Speaking of humiliations, YOUR source is the fake news site Breitbart.com.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re: This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

        "Speaking of humiliations, YOUR source is the fake news site Breitbart.com."

        Perhaps you'll like the leftie source here:

        http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/12/new-york-times-announces-white-house-team-includ ing-peter-baker-glenn-thrush-232526

        New York Times announces new White House team, including Peter Baker, [self-described hack] Glenn Thrush

        By Hadas Gold

        12/12/16 03:35 PM EST

        "The New York Times is beefing up its White House [fake news] coverage with two additions: POLITICO's [self-described hack] Glenn Thrush and current Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker, the Times' Washington Bureau Chief Elisabeth Bumiller announced on Monday."

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 17 Dec 2016 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re: This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

          Your citation does not use or even imply the terms "fake news" or "self-described hack". Nice irony though.

          Brietbart calling Politico "leftie" doesn't make it so. By their standards Fox News is "leftie."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 12 Dec 2016 @ 4:35pm

      Re: This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

      Well, if a reliable, unbiased news source like Breitbart said it, that's good enough for me!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2016 @ 1:11pm

      Re: This just in: NYTimes hires Politico self-described hack

      Sarcasm. Don't sweat it, its new!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 1:41pm

    It's only bad when the other guys do it.

    Isn't that the way it works?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:40pm

    Just a couple of reminders to put things in perspective.

    - Snowden might have started a larger movement of whistleblowers. He was not the first, but he was the first to go so massively public with so many papers at once. I can believe that, after him, Obama has to deal with more whistleblowers than any president before.

    - On the other hand, wet have Patreus. He leaked documents for his own personal benefit (some minor fame, and a woman), not for the benefit of the public... and he got a light sentence, no outcry, no call for his head on a spike... and an interview with the new president-elect for a job in the next government. Because he's a valuable and honorable person.

    It seems the message is clear. You can leak national secrets. Just do it for personal profit. That means you're not a threat to the system in place. Questioning the system if the one thing the government will not treat lightly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2016 @ 6:37pm

    Thanks Obama.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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