WHY ISN’T ANYONE TALKING ABOUT: US War on Free Speech Increasing With Cases Against Assange, Snowden

Assange’s extradition case is set to resume, days after a US court ruled that the NSA program revealed by Snowden is illegal—a reminder that when corruption is exposed by whistleblowers and journalists, the US Gov’t adds to the crimes by targeting the one who made it public…

On today’s edition of ‘Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This?‘ the extradition trial in the case against Julian Assange is set to resume on Monday, days after a US court ruled that the NSA program revealed by Edward Snowden seven years ago, is in fact, illegal. These cases may be different, but they come together to serve as a reminder of the ongoing opposition whistleblowers, journalists and publishers face here in the United States.

We call it the “Land of the Free,” and we always talk about the importance of freedom of the press, but over the years, we have seen a shift to target anyone who reveals inside information about the US Government.

We all know about how President Trump feels about the media, but one of the things that we don’t talk nearly enough about is the legacy President Obama left behind—specifically the fact that he targeted more whistleblowers, journalists and publishers than all previous presidents combined.

While whistleblowers are individuals who are risking their reputations, and even their lives, to reveal corruption with the hope that their actions will bring about change, the US Government has moved toward treating them like they are the enemy. Instead of dealing with the corruption and holding those who have facilitated it, the US now targets the whistleblowers and the journalists who exposed it.

When Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was illegally spying on the American public, the US Government did not target the NSA to make sure that they stopped their infringement upon the Fourth Amendment. When John Kiriakou revealed that the CIA had tortured terrorism suspects linked to Al-Qaeda, the US Government did not target the top CIA officials who allowed for it to happen. When Chelsea Manning presented clear evidence of horrific war crimes committed by the US Military, and Julian Assange published it for the world to see, the US didn’t go after the soldiers who committed those crimes. And the list goes on and on.

We live in a time where trust in the media is at an all-time low, but that should not take away from the importance of the cases we are seeing that specifically deal with the future of free speech in the US. If our freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and our freedom to hold the US Government accountable are not upheld, then we don’t really have freedom at all—and that is something everything should be talking about.

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Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

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