Dan Froomkin writes: It’s a particularly challenging time for American national security reporting, with the press and public increasingly in the dark about important defense, intelligence and counterterrorism issues.
The post-post-9/11 period finds the U.S. aggressively experimenting with two new highly disruptive forms of combat — drone strikes and cyberattacks — for which our leaders appear to be making up the rules, in secret, as they go along.
Troubling legal and moral issues left behind by the previous administration remain unresolved. Far from reversing the Bush-Cheney executive power grab, President Barack Obama is taking it to new extremes by unilaterally approving indefinite detention of foreign prisoners and covert targeted killings of terror suspects, even when they are American citizens.
There is little to none of the judicial and legislative oversight Obama had promised, so the executive branch’s most controversial methods of violence and control remain solely in the hands of the president — possibly about to be passed along to a leader with less restraint.
More than a decade after it started, we still have no clue how much the government is listening in on us or reading our email, despite the obvious Fourth Amendment issues.
And the government’s response to this unprecedented secrecy is a war on leaks. [Continue reading…]