In late January, 2014, CSPAN aired a Columbia University School of Journalism panel discussion entitled Journalism After Snowden (click to watch) It was re-aired a couple of nights ago and I watched it, spellbound. Notably, the panel included the editor in chief of The Guardian Newspaper (USA branch) Janine Gibson; the executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson; Cass Sunstein, Obama's former head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Harvard Law professor who was recently appointed by the President to an NSA review panel (this panel determined that powers of the FISA Court [secret court] should be strengthened).
The Guardian-USA was the first newspaper to be contacted by Snowden and broke the story. Janine Gibson, editor in chief, stated that had the information been given to the Guardian in England it would never have reached the public. The newspaper's hard drives were destroyed under pressure from the British government. If she had not collaborated with the New York Times, said Gibson, the information would have been lost.
New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson stated in as intense a way as possible that journalists are under threat of prosecution if they publish a story because THE GOVERNMENT HAS CHANGED THE RULES FOR A FREE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION. In our free society a journalist had been willing to go to jail to protect the identity of a source. This dedication to a free press has been a vital part of our republic.
According to both Abramson and Gibson, now, through technological access, the government is able to trace all contacts (electronic, telephone, mail) without demanding that a journalist identify the source. Therefore it is not possible to protect a source. Under the new regime, the NSA has made it clear that A JOURNALIST CAN BE CONSIDERED AN ACCOMPLICE. What this means to the public 'after Snowden' is that there is no free press. When a journalist can be considered to be an accomplice in an act considered to be espionage BY THE RULING REGIME, the journalist cannot report on it without endangering him or herself. The rights of journalists have been chilled. Whistleblowers, those who expose violations by government in ways that could be illegal, will not be able to get information to the public. Would the Pentagon Papers be possible now? Would the New York Times accept the documents? The NYT accepted the Pentagon Papers based on our First Amendment right to know what our government is doing. The Supreme Court decided that we had a right to know in its Pentagon Papers decision in 1971. When was that decision overturned? It wasn't.
THE RIGHT OF THE PUBLIC TO KNOW WHAT THE POLICIES OF ITS GOVERNMENT ARE, WITHOUT DANGER TO OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS, HAS BEEN DESTROYED.
THIS IS UN AGENDA 21.