In 1990, I was fired for being a whistle-blower by the Missouri Attorney General, who subsequently spent time in prison. Therefore, the topic of this post is an issue that speaks loudly to me. If you believe in participatory democracy, it should speak loudly to you too.
If you are wondering why there is very little investigative journalism anymore, the attached article lays out one of the big reasons. If you were a whistle-blower trying to get important information to the public regarding government corruption or wrongdoing, you can now be easily identified by government spying without any need for a search warrant and without probably cause, at the un-monitored and unlimited discretion of “law enforcement” agencies including the NSA and the FBI that have repeatedly trampled on your constitutional rights.
Because of this abuse, by using a cell phone or the internet to communicate with a reporter, whistle-blowers are basically turning themselves in, very possibly subjecting themselves to prison time and torture (as happened to Chelsea Manning). It is because the military-industrial complex has a big say in how the justice system works. This illegal government surveillance and abusive prosecution is a big reason that a true patriot, Edward Snowden, has not voluntarily returned to the United States from Russia.
The consequent lack of protection for reporters and their sources has turned the “news” into press releases for the wealthy and powerful movers and shakers. They almost entirely operate in secret. As George Carlin famously stated, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it!” What we are left with are hot-air pundits, fact-free verbal wrestling matches among corrupted politicians and pundits. This is the state of much of our national news.
The topic of this link seems esoteric, but it affects you by disenfranching you and other voters, who are being left in the dark due to the lack of vigorous investigative reporting. This is especially true on national security issues, where the U.S. continues to hemorrhage unfathomable amounts of money into wars of choice.