No citizen is immune to the ceaseless dragnet surveillance by Barack Obama's administration.

Among the revelations of the president's boundless surveillance, which also includes reporters' phone records, is this report on how We The People thereby lose access to breaking news affecting our lives:

"Associated Press president Gary Pruitt ... slammed the Department of Justice for acting as 'judge, jury and executioner' in the seizure of the news organization's phone records and he said some of the wire service's longtime sources have clammed up in fear.

Pruitt said "the chilling effect is not just at AP, it's happening at other news organizations as well. Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me it has intimidated sources from speaking to them.

"Now, the government may love this. I suspect they do. But beware the government that loves secrecy too much."

But Obama characterizes these incidents of spying as just "modest encroachments on privacy."

We Americans know how scarily "modest" they are.

As for members of the media and advocates of civil liberties, more of them are trying to pierce Obama and Holder's spy operations by engaging in powerfully detailed lawsuits over constitutional abuses by the administration.

On June 10, the Obama administration was targeted full-scale, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation: "A bipartisan coalition of 86 civil liberties organizations and Internet companies -- including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks and the American Civil Liberties Union -- are demanding swift action from Congress in light of the recent revelations about unchecked domestic surveillance."

In their open letter to all members of Congress, these 86 angry patriotic organizations resounded: "This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens' right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures."

The cost of another president leading us as a nation under ever more surveillance will be a future 9/11 in which the terrorists will have won -- even before all the corpses they amass are counted.

Bear in mind that a majority of us re-elected Obama, our lead betrayer. Shall we continue betraying ourselves?

As for Edward Snowden, the man who helped cause this large-scale awakening of the media, he is afraid. Not of his fate, but that authorities "will come after my family, my friends, my partner," he said. "Anyone I have a relationship with ... I have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Do you agree that this should be his reward for telling the truth?

 

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.