- Le rapport est intitulé : "The Obama Administration and the Press - Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America" (J'espère qu'il sera bientôt disponible en français).
- Il s'accompagne d'une lettre adressée au Président Obama et détaillant certaines recommandations.
Dans l'attente d'une traduction française (qui devrait venir je pense, une traduction portuguaise et espagnole étant déjà disponible) je me borne à quelques observations générales et à la reprise de quelques extraits clés dont certains évoqués dans cet article de Glenn Greenwald.
- Le rapport débute ainsi : "Le président américain Barack Obama est arrivé au pouvoir en promettant un gouvernement transparent, mais il n'a pas été à la hauteur de sa promesse. Les journalistes et les défenseurs de la transparence souligent que la Maison Blanche freine de manière routinière la divulgation de l'information et déploie ses propres médias pour échapper à l'examen par la presse. La poursuite agressive des lançeurs d'alertes (leakers) d'informations classifiées et les vastes programmes de surveillance électronique dissuadent les sources gouvernementales de parler aux journalistes."
On pourra noter les phrases suivantes (Je laisse en anglais dans l'attente d'une traduction du rapport).
- "Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters' phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being 'an aider, abettor and/or conspirator' of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail." (Poursuites récentes et abus lors de celles-ci).
- "I worry now about calling somebody because the contact can be found out through a check of phone records or e-mails,' said veteran national security journalist R. Jeffrey Smith of the Center for Public Integrity, an influential nonprofit government accountability news organization in Washington. 'It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for the government to monitor those contacts,' he said" (inquiétudes sur le numérique qui augmentent la pression et les réticences des acteurs à parler aux journalistes)
- The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent.
- "In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation,
including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records. An “Insider Threat Program” being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues."
- "“I think we have a real problem,” said New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane. “Most people are deterred by those leaks prosecutions. They’re scared to death. There’s a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It’s having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”
- “This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times."
- "But his administration’s actions have too often contradicted Obama’s stated intentions. “Instead,” New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote earlier this year, “it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.”
- "The Insider Threat Program being implemented throughout the Obama administration to stop leaks—first detailed by the McClatchy newspapers’ Washington bureau in late June—has already “created internal surveillance, heightened a degree of paranoia in government and made people conscious of contacts with the public, advocates, and the press,” said a prominent transparency advocate, Steven Aftergood, director of the Government Secrecy Project at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington. None of these measures is anything like the government controls, censorship, repression, physical danger, and even death that journalists and their sources face daily in many countries throughout the world—from Asia, the Middle East and Africa to Russia, parts of Europe and Latin America, and including nations that have offered asylum from U.S. prosecution to Snowden. But the United States, with its unique constitutional guarantees of free speech and a free press—essential to its tradition of government accountability—is not any other country."
- Financial Times correspondent Richard McGregor told me that, after coming to Washington several years ago from a posting in China, he was surprised to find that “covering this White House is pretty miserable in terms of getting anything
of substance to report on in what should be a much more open system. If the U.S. starts backsliding (faire demi tour), it is not only a bad example for more closed states, but also for other democracies that have been influenced by the U.S.” to make their
governments more transparent"
- Since the 9/11 attacks, “the national security role of the government has increased hugely,” said Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith, a senior national security lawyer in the Pentagon and the Justice Department during the Bush
administration. It has amounted to a “gigantic expansion of the secrecy system,” he told me, “both the number of secrets and the numbers of people with access to secrets.”
- "And not just in national security. Ellen Weiss, Washington bureau chief for E.W. Scripps newspapers and stations, said “the Obama administration is far worse than the Bush administration” in trying to thwart accountability reporting about government agencies. Among several examples she cited, the Environmental Protection Agency “just wouldn’t talk to us” or release records about environmental policy review panels “filled by people with ties to target companies.”
- "The government websites turned out to be part of a strategy, honed during Obama’s presidential campaign, to use the Internet to dispense to the public large amounts of favorable information and images generated by his administration,
while limiting its exposure to probing by the press"
- The Obama administration is using social media “to end run the news media completely,” Sesno at George Washington University told me. “Open dialogue with the public without filters is good, but if used for propaganda and to avoid contact with journalists, it’s a slippery slope (pente glissante)"