Adds that Obama should crack down on free press
December 17, 2013
An unnamed official with the NSA told a reporter during a recent media “open day” that President Obama should crack down on the free press, and that the First Amendment should be reformed.
In his piece for Foreign Policy, reporter Daniel Drezner explains how NSA officials are so completely out of touch with the Constitution and Bill of Rights that they simply cannot fathom why people are so upset with the actions of the spy agency with regards to monitoring Americans’ communications.
In a key revelation, Drezner notes:
“The NSA’s attitude toward the press is, well, disturbing. There were repeated complaints about the ways in which recent reportage of the NSA was warped or lacking context. To be fair, this kind of griping is a staple of officials across the entire federal government.”
“Some of the NSA folks went further, however.” Drezner explains.
“One official accused some media outlets of ‘intentionally misleading the American people,’ which is a pretty serious accusation. This official also hoped that the Obama administration would crack down on these reporters, saying, “I have some reforms for the First Amendment.”
Clearly this anonymous official has no concept of what a free press is, and that the very definition is protected under the First Amendment. Government agencies, cannot simply “reform” the law of the land to avoid scrutiny, and neither can single branches of government for that matter.
The outburst echoes comments made by other NSA officials, including the agency head, General Keith Alexander, although it seems no longer clear who really is in charge of the agency, following another unsettling NSA performance on CBS’ 60 Minutes this past weekend.
Drezner, who was taking advantage of the NSA’s desperate attempt to amplify its PR campaign to convince America and the world that what it is doing isn’t highly immoral and illegal, notes “The NSA’s biggest strategic communications problem is that they’ve been so walled off from the American body politic that they have no idea when they’re saying things that sound tone-deaf.”
“Like expats returning from a long overseas tour, NSA staffers don’t quite comprehend how much perceptions of the agency have changed. The NSA stresses in its mission statement and corporate culture that it “protects privacy rights.”… it’s impossible to read that statement without suppressing a laugh.”
In addition, the idea that the mainstream media is somehow misrepresenting the NSA and making them look like villains is also laughable. The dinosaur media is doing everything within its power to protect the NSA.
The CBS piece was little more than outright propaganda, airing with virtually all of the assertionsmade by NSA employees to justify mass surveillance going completely unchallenged.
In another startling example of media spin in favor of the NSA, Glenn Greenwald scolded CNN today after it tweeted the following in response to Edward Snowden’s offer to help Brazil investigate NSA spying on it’s population: