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