The Real White House Open Government Initiative

by J.A. Myerson

Here it is, everyone: the precedent for the wholesale destruction of the field of national security journalism.

Stephen J. Kim, an arms expert who immigrated from South Korea as a child, spent a decade briefing top government officials on the dangers posed by North Korea. Then last August he was charged with violating the Espionage Act — not by aiding some foreign adversary, but by revealing classified information to a Fox News reporter.

Worth mentioning that Obama’s authoritarian crackdown on leaks extends not only to the leakers but the news sources that publish the leaked information (see: Wikileaks).

Of course, as the case of Bradley Manning shows, Obama’s war on truth-tellers is remarkable not only for its scope but also for the severity of its wrath.

In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado:  all without so much as having been convicted of anything.  And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.

To compound the horror, Obama campaigned vigorously on the promise of returning the White House to transparency after the dark Bush/Cheney years of secrecy.

The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists who’ve been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place — and off the books — so their visits wouldn’t later be made public.

Makes a body wonder about the credibility of those who tout their credentials as experts in constitutional law in seeking office.