By Christopher B. Daly
No surprise. The government has decided that it does not want to completely retreat from the field of spying on, investigating, and prosecuting journalists who seek and report the truth about our government’s operations. The Justice Dept is willing to make a few concessions, in acknowledgement that it recently got caught over-reaching in a number of cases. But it is nowhere near saying that the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedom means what it says.
That’s my understanding of what AG Eric Holder announced yesterday in compliance with a demand from his boss, President Obama.
–Here’s the text of the Justice Dept report. (I am posting this in good faith; I hope the Justice Dept is doing the same and is not hiding some classified, redacted version in which they take it all back.)
Essentially, it amounts to this: Trust us. In the future, the attorney general will continue to make judgment calls and do all the balancing of press freedom and national security. If you don’t like it, tough. There’s no appeal, no remedy, no oversight.
If in the future, we have more secrecy and less transparency, this will be part of the reason.