A week ago, we discovered that President Barack Obama became furious after discovering that people shared a photograph that he had allowed to be taken of himself. This week, Obama’s obsession with photographic privacy has become news again.
This time, the news comes from The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The Jefferson Center released its 2014 Muzzle Awards yesterday. The Muzzle Awards are given to “those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’” – the individuals and organizations in the United States that have done the most to promote censorship.
The Obama Administration has earned the top three Muzzle Awards this year.
One of those Muzzle Awards was given to the White House Press Office, for its policy of banning journalists from taking photographs at events involving President Obama. The White House claims that these prohibitions on ordinary press activity are due to the need for privacy. The White House Press Office typically releases its own photographs of these very same events.
The Obama Press Office policy has little to do with privacy, and a great deal to do with control of President Obama’s political image. President Obama’s team only wants to release polished and processed images that suit its political agenda. Giving photojournalists access to the White House would interfere with that project.
This is White House censorship is just the latest in a long course of Oval Office hypocrisy from Barack Obama. While Obama and his team demand that they be granted privacy for their public actions as public servants of the American people, they have unleashed unreasonable search and seizure of Americans’ private photographs, documents, homes, offices, communications and photographs. President Obama has even been working with British spies to steal pictures of naked Americans, in their own homes, from Yahoo.
If Barack Obama were subjected to the kind of privacy violations that he has inflicted upon the American people through the NSA, FBI and CIA, we would be able to read his emails, search through logs of his cell phone activity, and look at up to the minute maps of his GPS-tracked travel, all while watching and listening to live web cams of the Oval Office, top diplomatic meetings, and even the West Wing bedrooms.
We need more transparency from the President of the United States, and less in our own lives. Barack Obama volunteered to serve us. We did not volunteer to be the subjects of government spying.