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Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington. Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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A deep, nuanced and indignant indictment of the players who have made investigative journalism harder to conduct, even if those actors are other journalists. (Kirkus Reviews)
“Attkisson offers a harrowing and gripping account of journalism as practiced these days in Washington. She skillfully unveils how she discovered the secret scheme to spy on her. The larger and more disturbing takeaway is how the mainstream are falling down on the job.” (Jeff Gerth, Pulitzer Prize winning former investigative reporter for the New York Times)
From the Back Cover
Who’s been hacking Sharyl Attkisson’s computers? Computers that turn themselves on in the night, make strange noises, then shut themselves down. Whoever is doing it is using highly sophisticated spyware available only to our top intelligence agencies. Is someone sending Attkisson a message?
Washington, D.C., has always been a tough town for investigative journalists. But in the age of Obama, the government has taken the tried-and-true techniques of bureaucratic stonewalling to unprecedented heights. What’s more, it has added harassment, intimidation, and outright spying to the mix.
Through more than thirty years as an award-winning investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson fought tirelessly to uncover wrongdoing by those in power, whether major corporations, government officials, or presidential administrations of both parties. But when she started looking into stories involving the Obama administration’s mistakes and misjudgments in a series of high-profile cases—stories few in mainstream journalism would touch—she was confronted with the administration’s use of hardball tactics to discourage, block, and actively suppress her investigative work.
A dogged reporter with a well-earned reputation as a “pit bull,” Attkisson filed a series of groundbreaking stories on the Fast and Furious gunwalking program, Obama’s green energy boondoggle, the unanswered questions about Benghazi, and the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. Her news reports were met with a barrage of PR warfare tactics, including emails and phone calls up the network chain of command, criticism from paid-for commenters and bloggers, and a campaign of character assassination that continues to this day. Most disturbing of all, Attkisson reveals that as she broke news on Fast and Furious and Benghazi, her computers and phone lines were hacked and bugged by an unrevealed but tremendously sophisticated party.
Stonewalled is the story of the Obama administration’s efforts to monitor journalists, intimidate and harass opposition groups, and spy on private citizens. But it is also a searing indictment of the timidity of the press and the dangerous decline of investigative journalism and unbiased truth telling in America today.
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Pre-release and other reports seem to focus on the hacking of Ms Attkisson's computers, which some believe to be an outrageous act (perhaps by the federal government) and others don't believe at all. After the Snowden revelations, the Clapper lies, and the Justice Department's treatment of Rosen, Risen and AP, I would find it harder to believe that her computers weren't spied upon, rather than that they were. After reading the book, I find the entire computer hacking issue to be a side issue that is being nitpicked by critics in an effort to discredit the author.
The real story here is the credible documentation by a seasoned insider of the control exerted by the Obama administration over CBS News. Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in Ms Attkissen's account of the extent to which CBS covered up the truth concerning a pivotal moment in the 2012 Presidential election (debate 2). After the debate, pundits everywhere were arguing about whether or not Obama called the Benghazi attacks terrorism in his Rose Garden speech on 9/12/12. While discussions continued and the media largely sided with Obama, CBS "sat on" video evidence (shot on the same day), proving that he did not call or consider the Benghazi attacks terrorism. (At least that is what Obama said in the interview with Kroft). Furthermore, after reading the book, one might conclude that the entire debate moment was orchestrated. Ms Attkissen poses the key question: "- How did the White House know CBS wouldn't use the part of the 60 Minutes Obama interview that disproved the president's debate claim?"
In addition to numerous interesting stories about perceived bias at CBS, another continuing theme of the book is that the Obama administration is very reluctant, and often won't provide even trivial information to reporters.- Does the government serve the public, or do the citizens serve the government?
This is a must read book for any engaged American concerned about honesty in the media and government. We should all be informed, concerned and frightened by what corporate interests and the federal government have done to our "free press." (Or have the "free press" done it to themselves?)
This part of the story bookends the central part of the book, which tells of her extensive investigative journalism, and the troubles that she has endured because of it. I had not realized that Attkinson was responsible for so many of the stories that has the left up in arms: Bengazi, Fast and Furious, The Green Energy Debacles, Obamacare, etc. Ignored by these folks is the fact that she is an equal opportunity investigator, having earlier gone after the Bush Admin. and Corporate fraud.
This should be a wake up call, for all of us who believed that government domestic spying ended with Nixon, and that the promises of "The Most Transparent Administration in History" has become a sham.
Every person who cares about our freedom of the press needs to consider her story, especially liberals who believe that only Republicans do the kinds of things that have happened to her.