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Filmmaker: Obama’s war on whistleblowers ‘a terrible disservice to democracy’

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Appearing on CNN Sunday, documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald said that his latest film will highlight the Obama administration’s ongoing “war” against people who reveal the government’s embarrassing and sometimes shocking secrets.

War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State” documents the Obama administration’s efforts to silence and retaliate against whistleblowers, and the effect that overreaching government secrecy has on journalism.

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A trailer for the film features journalists from The New York Times and The New Yorker explaining that there’s a shortage of investigative news because so many whistleblowers are worried that they could face prosecution for dishing the dirt on the ill-dealings of power.

“We hope, by having these incredible journalists speak out, we call attention to the fact that literally the Espionage Act is being used against whistleblowers,” Greenwald said Sunday. “Calling whistleblowers spies is really, in many ways, beyond the pale of anything we’ve seen from any other administration.”

Host Howard Kurtz countered by asking why Greenwald, a liberal, was so adamant about criticizing the Obama administration on this issue.

“President Obama is doing a terrible disservice to democracy, to free speech and to the power and importance of both whistleblowers and journalists,” Greenwald said, adding he agrees with the assessment that Obama is likely “too close to the CIA.”

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“As [New York Times reporter James] Risen says, we can’t have a democracy without a strong free press,” he said. “In the national security arena, these people are really heroic. They’re speaking up, they have nothing to gain, and they’re protecting us against fraud and abuse.”

This video is from CNN, aired Sunday, April 14, 2013.

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Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along

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It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.

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The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed

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It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."

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Turkish president threatens US over Trump’s insulting letter: ‘When the time comes necessary steps will be taken’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on Friday warned the United States that it would pay a price for the letter send by President Donald Trump that warned him that history "will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen" in northern Syria.

The letter, which also advised Erdo?an to not "be a tough guy" or "a fool," was widely ridiculed in the media for sounding childish. Erdo?an, however, said on Friday that he took the president's letter as a serious insult to his stature as a world leader.

As reported by the BBC's Jon Sopel, Erdo?an called out the president's letter for being out of line with standard diplomatic protocol, and he suggested his country would not forget how the president showed them such little respect.

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