U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes, 8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies.
Manning’s sentence is only the latest example of the criminalization of investigative journalism that has greatly intensified in the Obama era (Extra!,9/11). While whistleblowers have been the chief targets of the harsh crackdown on media challenges to official secrecy, journalists themselves are increasingly in the government sights.
Fox News‘ James Rosen, for example, was declared a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in the case of State Department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, accused of leaking information about North Korea; this…
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