American journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras will return to the United States on Friday for the first time since the start of the Snowden revelations to accept a George Polk award. Joining them will be Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill and The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman.

Greenwald told reporters he’s motivated to return because “certain factions in the U.S. government have deliberately intensified the threatening climate for journalists.” He added that the U.S. government had not informed his legal counsel of any charges he or Poitras might face.

Barack Obama has used the Espionage Act more times than all other presidents combined. Greenwald and others point to this fact to argue that the crackdown on whistle-blowers and their partner journalists has reached a peak in U.S. history. For journalists in particular, their jobs and relationships to their sources have put them directly in the government’s cross hairs.

In January, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested that journalists reporting on the NSA documents were acting as Snowden’s “accomplices.” The following month, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, claimed Greenwald was selling stolen goods by reporting those stories with news organizations around the world. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has called for the reporter to be prosecuted.

Read more here.

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.


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