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Urgency for new federal shield law for journalists intensifies
Aug 26th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Proposal supported by

Obama is deeply flawed

President Obama addresses the federal shield law (obliquely) at a May news conference. Click image to enlarge.

THERE CAN BE LITTLE debate that the leaking of sensitive government data and the prosecution of those who leaked it has been the top story of the summer.
Day after day, the page one headlines of most newspapers – and the lead story on U.S. television news – has concerned one of the two parallel dramas unfolding before our eyes.
The first and longest running was the trial and sentencing of Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning.
The second has been the pursuit of Edward Snowden, accused of espionage for his revelations about a massive NSA spying operation.
Both of these currents in the news bring into sharp focus the need for protection at the federal level for journalists and their sources.
Without adequate protection, the revelations of such vital public information is sure to dry up; and, indeed, anecdotally at least, it is reportedly doing so.


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Blogger’s views on Manning case aired by Al Jazeera (with video)

BLOGGER’S VIEWS ON MANNING CASE AIRED BY ALJZEERA
It is rare that us mere mortals are afforded the same opportunity that folks like Scott Pelly (of CBS) and Brian Williams (of NBC) get every evening.
They speak daily to an audience of millions about the most important issues in the news.
Today, I was afforded the same opportunity.
In a segment on the Listening Post show on Al Jazeera English. I was featured as a guest on the Global Village Voices slot speaking about the Bradley Manning case.
Watch the full statement in the video.


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LISTENING POST on AlJazeera: must see TV (with video)

SHOW HAS HAD BEST COVERAGE OF BRADLEY MANNING CASE
With the arrival this week of AlJazeera America, the domestic audience now can watch one of the best half hours on television.
“Listening Post,” a show about the media and journalism in general, is scheduled to be aired on AlJazeera America on Saturdays, starting tomorrow, at 2:30 p.m. EDT (in the East) and again at 2:30 p.m. PDT (in the West).
Welcome to America, AlJazeera.
It is time the U.S. media got a wake-up call. Let’s give the new kid on the block a chance to prove it can do a better job for all of us.


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President Obama should pardon Bradley Manning NOW!

SIGN THE PETITION: LET’S GET ONE MILLION SIGNATURES
The 35-year-sentence handed down by a military judge for Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday was grossly excessive.
For The New York Times to call Bradley Manning’s 35-year sentence “excessive” is disappointing. It has forgotten the glorious past, when it championed the freedom of the press – and the dozens of times it has gone to the mat to protect the identity of anonymous sources since then.
We say, “Pardon Bradley Manning NOW!, Mr. President.”


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UPDATED: Manning sentence: A sad day for America and press freedom (NEW video)

COURAGEOUS, HONEST FOLK NEEDED TO EXPOSE GOVERNMENT WRONGDOING FROM THE INSIDE
It is a sad day in America: the Statue of Liberty on Staten Island has a tear in her eye.
Prosecutors made it clear that their intention was not only to punish Pfc. Bradley Manning (which they have accomplished) but also to discourage others from leaking information.
Let us hope they fail. We would be less well off as a nation if the press is no longer able to expose government wrongdoing at every level, and to do so, it needs courageous, honest people on the inside willing to risk it all in the name of patriotism.
Thank you, Bradley Manning.


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Bradley Manning’s defense focuses in wrong place (with video)

WHY ISN’T SANITY OF GOVERNMENT’S KEY WITNESS BEING CHALLENGED?
During the sentencing phase, his defense has focused a great deal on his mental health during the time he served in Iraq when he downloaded massive numbers of classified documents.
Bur, they are focusing on the wrong place.
It is the mental health of the government’s chief witness, Adrian Lamo, that should be the defense’s focus.


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Glenn Greenwald: scholar, journalist, media critic extraordinaire (with video)

BLOWING THE LID ON GOVERNMENT ABUSE OF SECRECY IS HIS SPECIALTY
If Bradley Manning did nothing else (and he most certainly did!), he revealed to the entire world the abuse of the classification system that is rampant in the U.S. government.
Glenn Greenwald has been doing the same for years.
He’s not even “formally” trained in journalism.
Those of us who believe it is not only our right but our duty to know what our government is doing FOR us and TO us, can only admire Mr. Greenwald and what he is doing for all of us.
Get In the (K)now … here, now.


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Manning trial almost disappears from media radar

SECRET PROCEEDINGS POSE THREAT TO FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
After a flurry of headlines when Pfc. Bradley Manning was found guilty of most of the 22 charges brought against him, there has been an almost total media blackout of the trial.
Kudos to Firedoglake blog and The New York Times for doing what they can to keep the spotlight on the courtroom in Maryland.
Perhaps the rest of the media will pay attention when the sentence is pronounced.


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U.S. government penchant for secrecy must be fixed

ABUSE OF CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM LEADS TO LOSS OF CREDIBILITY, MASSIVE LEAKS

Classifying data simply to avoid a potentially embarrassing public debate is misusing the system.
The continued leaking of details of the massive spying program being conducted by the National Security Agency is just the latest embarrassing example.
It is time for a total revamp of the federal government’s penchant to stamp everything “top secret.” The policy is broken; it needs to be fixed.
Get In the (K)now … here, now


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LGBT community’s silence on Manning is deafening (with video)

WIKILEAKS HERO DESERVED MORE SUPPORT FROM GAYS
So where, in all this time, has the gay community been in this riveting drama?
Was the LGBT community too afraid to take a stance in support of a controversial figure, one who is despised by the right wing (especially Fox News-types) but lionized by those who believe we have a right to know about what our government is doing on our behalf all over the world?
It is a great pity


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