Intimidation act against AP shows 'real fear in House of Power'

The rights of the US citizens are increasingly under attack, as the US is intimidated by the press, which may expose some of the crimes committed by the government, Caleb Maupin from International Action Center told RT.

“This is an act of intimidation against the Associated Press.
It was a real fear in the House of Power, which includes both the
Democrats and the Republicans, that the press might start doing its
job and actually speaking truth to power, actually exposing some of
the crimes that have been committed,”
Maupin said.

He notes that reporters have been jailed through the history of
the US and adds that the government will “threaten and
intimidate journalists”
to keep them from doing their
jobs. 

RT: AP suggests the investigation could be linked to their story that
allegedly gave out details of a CIA operation in Yemen – if that’s
the case is the action justified on behalf of the
administration?

Caleb Maupin: Absolutely not. It flies in the face of
everything Obama campaigned on — protecting the press, protecting
the whistleblowers. This is very hypocritical, especially when it
is related to Yemen, which is a country that once had a socialist
government. The South Yemen was once the Democratic people’s
republic of Yemen, until it was torn down by the US and now drones
are killing people in Yemen. The people of Yemen have the absolute
right to resist and the press has the right to expose it, just like
during the Vietnam War — there was mass exposure of the US war
crimes in the Vietnam and that helped motivate the anti-war
movement. Now the press has absolute right to expose US war crimes
in Yemen.

RT: The Obama administration has been criticized for
expanding surveillance of US citizens – do you think this incident
is part of a trend or a stand-alone occurrence?

CM: It’s part of a trend. The rights of the US citizens
are increasingly under attack. The National defense authorization
act is now in effect, warrantless wiretapping has continued. All
the things that the Democratic Party lambasted George W. Bush for
doing — they are now continuing. It is a trend in repression. It
goes at the same time as the military industrial complex is being
built up in this country. We have 2 million people in prison. As
the US economy is collapsing as a huge police state apparatus is
being constructed in order to hold back the people as they rise up
amid suffering.

RT: The US has been a long-term advocate for press
freedom – does this correlate with what we’re hearing?

CM: No. All around the world all of the sudden US starts
talking about freedom of the press, when they are trying to bring
down or destabilize the government. In Venezuela they do not like
Hugo Chavez because he was defending the people so all of the
sudden they are talking about freedom of the press. But yet in
Bahrain there is a government which is loyal to the US government,
that takes orders from Wall Street, they look the other way, though
there is brutal suppression. All the talk in the US of the freedom
of the press is very hypocritical. People have been jailed in the
US. In the 1920s the US Supreme Court even upheld the jailing of
Benjamin Gitlow for publishing a newspaper that had a socialist
perspective. Reporters have been jailed through the history of the
US. So it is a lot of rhetoric, but it doesn’t equal reality.

RT: What are AP’s options here? What could their next
move be?

CM: This is an act of intimidation against the Associated
Press. It was a real fear in the House of Power, which includes
both the Democrats and the Republicans, that the press might start
doing its job and actually speaking truth to power, actually
exposing some of the crimes that have been committed.

The Union campaigns in the early ’20s were aided by the fact
that the press exposed the horrendous conditions the US workers
were working under. The Civil Rights movement was aided by the fact
what was happening in the US south and the horrors of Jim Crow
apartheid in the US.

So there is a real fear that the press will start doing its job
and tell the truth what goes on in the US society. They want to
threaten and intimidate journalists and keep that from happening —
that is what’s behind this.

This article originally appeared on : RT