Along with the news guild, about 50 news organizations have sent
letters to Attorney General Eric Holder objecting to the subpoenas.
Writing letters of indignation to congress critters has value when the
wave of indignation is massive and the members of Congress are not
simply marionettes whose strings are pulled by the big money forces
that put them there. Sadly, very few members of Congress cast votes in
opposition to the financial interests that put them there. Given
Obama's cynical prosecution of whistle blowers, the worst of any
administration in history, I have zero faith in the federal government
to enforce first amendment rights of US citizens as laid out in the Constitution.
The public's view of journalists is at an all time low, and so there is
likely to be little public sympathy for stopping the administration
from violating first amendment freedoms.
Rather than rely on the good will of government, which changes each
time the wind blows, journalists can take a leaf from the pages of
the newly announced Strongbox at The New Yorker and make it easy for members of the public to tell what they know without fear of being destroyed by federal prosecutors. The Strong Box is an open source gift from the young, talented, and tragically, late Aaron Swartz, who was himself prosecuted by the Obama administration for his activities in support of open source options to the point where Aaron took his own life rather than be labeled a felon -- or serve 35 years in a federal penitentiary.
Here are the details of a way whistle blowers can get documents to a
news outlet without facing prison time. There's no reason why The Strong Box can not be more widely adopted.
When whistle blowers present documents to reporters, honest reporters examine and verify the documents to determine whether there is a story. Sometimes there is no story and it's just an attempt at manipulating public opinion. Other times, it turns out to be valuable.