It’s well documented that President Barack Obama’s administration has been brutal in targeting whistleblowers who leak information to the press. The Department of Justice has spied on the Associated Press and Fox News to track down sources of information. It has slid down the World Press Freedom Index to 49th place, lower than several African and South American countries.
Now a new Pentagon document, a Law of War Manual, states that journalists can be treated like “unprivileged belligerents,” which is apparently the new term for “unlawful combatants,” which some may recall was the new term for “suspected terrorists.”
According to some media coverage of the manual, military leaders are insisting they’re not declaring that journalists are the enemy. Rather they’re pointing out that journalists just might be the actual enemy, as in terrorists, spies, and propagandists posing as journalists.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, however, is concerned that the vagueness of the manual will give clearance to the military to detain and harass journalists with very little evidence that they’re doing anything but honest reporting…