Chris Hedges: Monitoring of AP Phones a “Terrifying” Step in State Assault on Press Freedom

democracynow democracynow

Published on May 15, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery.

The action likely came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story on the U.S. intelligence operation that stopped a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former New York Times reporter, calls the monitoring “one more assault in a long series of assaults against freedom of information and freedom of the press.” Highlighting the Obama administration’s targeting of government whistleblowers, Hedges adds: “Talk to any investigative journalist who must investigate the government and they will tell you that there is a deep freeze. People are terrified of speaking, because they are terrified of going to jail.”

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