The Conversation

The Regime's Efforts To Silence Whistleblowers And Intimidate Reporters Have Been Historic

In response to Snitches get stitches: journalist raided, notes and whistleblower names seized:

When Obama was elected in 2008, his ascension to the White House was deemed "historic" because he was our first black president, and Americans were rightly proud of that. Unfortunately, Obama has been a "historic" president in other ways, too - ways that should horrify and alarm Americans.  His administration's brazen efforts to silence whistleblowers, intimidate reporters and businesses that don't play ball with him have been unprecedented. We are living through highly troubling times.

This White House has a long track record of bullying reporters as a tactic to ensure only positive coverage and suppress free speech. And Obama has used the DOJ as a political arm to enforce allegiance to his agenda.

Keith Koffler, who has covered the Bush and Clinton White Houses, as well as the Obama White House has written at length about the Regime's bullying tactics.

When White House officials, particularly members of the press office, see a story they don’t like, they often call and verbally abuse the reporter who wrote the piece.

In diatribes often peppered with obscenities, they complain of profound injustice, bias, lack of relevance – anything they can think of to get reporters to back off their story.
It’s not just a series of uncontrolled outbursts. It is a planned, methodical, and highly artificial effort to either squash a story or get inside a reporter’s head so they think twice about doing a piece next time that negatively impacts Obama.

That this is an actual policy is evident from the consistency of the practice and its implementation by nearly every member of the White House press office staff. They are all nice, affable people who suddenly switch into an unmarked gear and begin running you over at full speed.

Koffler noted that he's "seen this done by press people from the Bush and Clinton administrations. But only on rare occasion, and generally with a legitimate grievance in hand. But never have I witnessed this type of bullying of the press in such a systematic, intense, and frequent manner."

Because the examples of this are legion, I thought it would be a good idea to aggregate a number of these stories in one spot. These are not isolated incidents. They are the result of purposefully thuggish policies perpetrated by nasty, thuggish people. It's the sort of thing you would see in a third world Banana Republic.

In October 2011,  CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson revealed on the Laura Ingraham Show that a WH spokesman and DOJ flack screamed and cussed at her over the phone about Fast and Furious investigation.

Last June, Attkisson revealed that her computers had been hacked into “by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012.” The strong implication being that the Obama administration was behind the hacking.

Last May, news that the DOJ was spying on journalists rocked the nation.

The Associated Press blasted feds when they found out journalists' phone records were seized by the DOJ in a move the wire service called “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” on the free press. 

The AP revealed Monday the Justice Department secretly acquired two months of phone records for 20 office, home and mobile phone lines used by reporters and editors targeted in the probe. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said the data could “reveal communications with confidential sources and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.” “We regard this as a serious interference with The AP’s constitutional right to gather news,” he added, demanding that the agency return the data and destroy copies.

Then came the news that the DOJ was spying on respected  Fox News reporter, James Rosen:

Fox News Correspondent James Rosen has been accused in a Justice Department affidavit of being a possible criminal "co-conspirator" for his alleged role in publishing sensitive security information -- in a leak case that takes the highly unusual step of claiming a journalist broke the law. According to court documents, the Justice Department obtained a portfolio of information about Fox News' James Rosen's conversations and visits to the State Department. This included a search warrant for his personal emails.

Last February, Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said he was threatened by a senior Obama administration official following his reporting on the White House's handling of the forced federal spending (sequester) cuts that were soon to take effect.

 "They're not happy at all," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room," adding that an e-mail from a senior administration official – who he would not name – communicated a message which caused him great concern. "It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this," he said.

 That set off a cascade of White House bullying stories... In an article at National Journal,  Ron Fournier described "vulgarity, abusive language" in several e-mails from the Obama White House.

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Politico characterized as a veiled threat. 'You will regret staking out that claim,' The Washington Post reporter was told. Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. 'Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,' the official wrote."

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said that Robert Gibbs sent him a "threatening email" in 2008 after he wrote an article critical of Barack Obama.

There is a kind of a threatening tone that from time to time, not all the time, but comes out of these guys in this White House, but that doesn’t excuse it. And, you know, they should not play that way, but they, they feel like they’re holding the cards in the relationship. They’ve got people’s access, you know, to hold over them.

One DC veteran said, “I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary.” 

“She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names — bitch, c–t, a–hole.” He complained and was told the matter would be investigated: “They were hemming and hawing, saying, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Nothing happened.” He wound up confronting the author of the e-mail directly. “I said, ‘From now on, every e-mail you send this reporter will be on the record, and you will be speaking on behalf of the president of the United States.’ That shut it down.”

Last month, a PR flack from the Justice Dept tried to intimidate a reporter from USA Today into not publishing a story.

Techdirt reported on what they found to be "an absolutely incredible exchange between the Justice Department's Brian Fallon (from the Office of Public Affairs -- basically a PR guy) and Brad Heath, an investigative reporter from USA Today."

Heath had sent the DOJ a FOIA request to the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) asking basically whether or not the OPR had been involved in any investigation concerning the recently declassified FISA Court order, about how the NSA had misled the FISA court and abused its capabilities repeatedly. It certainly seems reasonable to try to find out if the DOJ then investigated those abuses and the NSA's misrepresentations to the FISA court.

The DOJ claimed that there were no responsive documents -- which even by itself is quite incredible. Heath appears to have then followed up with Fallon at the DOJ to seek comments.

Fallon's response by itself is stunning: I have an answer from OPR, and a FISC judge. I am not providing it to you because all you will do is seek to write around it because you are biased in favor of the idea that an inquiry should have been launched. So I will save what I have for another outlet after you publish.

Basically, this is the DOJ giving the middle finger to Heath, telling him that they have answers to his questions, but won't give them to him in order to purposely try to make him look bad by giving those quotes to someone else.

Heath, quite reasonably, responded that he's been perfectly patient in waiting for an answer, but if none is forthcoming, he'll write the story as he has it (which, from the FOIA request, suggests that the DOJ did absolutely nothing about the NSA's abuses and misrepresentations to the FISC).


In just the past week, Democrat Bob Beckel revealed that the  White House "bludgeoned" him for calling for an Obamacare delay, and a CNN's Carol Costello admitted that Team Obama 'can be quite nasty' to deal with and not afraid to use whatever means they have, "including threatening your job." .

Author Peter Schweizer was on Hannity, earlier this week to talk about  his new book Extortion.

He talked about the mind-blowing corruption and political extortion that is rampant in DC,  these days. He compared the Regime to “the squeegee man that used to be in NYC – - they’d walk up to your car and say I want to clean your windshield – they’ve got a cloth in one hand and a brick in the other, and you’ve got to pay them or the brick’s coming through the windshield”….

He said that “Eric Holder is the basically the Squeegee guy holding the brick. "There are companies that are being told that they are subject to DOJ investigation, criminal and civil, and then these companies are solicited for political donations to the Obama Campaign (in 2012) and now to political committees and there is statistical evidence in the book that literally, you cut your chance of going to jail in half if you make a contribution.”

He said, “the other thing they’re doing is after the 2010 midterm elections, when they had that stunning defeat in Congress, the Obama Department of Justice targeted the industries that financed the tea party candidates that got elected.”

Schweizer claimed that "literally days after President Obama made that famous statement 'we’re going to punish our political opponents,' the Holder DOJ sent out an industry sweep letter to companies in the oil and gas sector which said you are subject to criminal investigation and you'd better share and cooperate....it was a clear intimidation tactic being used."

According to Schweizer, "the top Republican financiers in 2012 were all subject to DOJ criminal charges." Every one.   "It's shocking really unlike anything we've ever seen," he noted.

"Historic" in other words.

Thanks to the Obama thugocracy, the U.S. is now considered by the World Bank and World Economic Forum to be  the most corrupt countries among advanced industrialized nations.

"We are now seen as most prone to corruption of any industrialized country in the world" Schweizer claimed.
"And the DOJ is right in the middle of it."




 










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