Former CBS investigative reporter and author of “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington” Sharyl Attkisson shared new government documents that she says prove the Obama administration is “spinning” taxpayers with their own money.
“Among some of the documents that are being forced to be released now are documents that discuss … my news stories, my Freedom of Information Act requests,” Attkisson explained on The Glenn Beck Program Thursday.“Why did the president of the United States have to step in and keep these things secret, and declare executive privilege?”
Attkisson said one of the documents is an October 4, 2011 email from Tracy Schmaler, the top press aide of outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, to the White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz.
“I’m also calling Sharyl’s editor and reaching out to Schieffer. She is out of control,” Schmaler wrote of Attkisson.
“Good, her piece was really bad for the AG,” the White House deputy press secretary responded, according to the documents. Attkisson said she was reporting on the Fast and Furious scandal at the time.
“It’s what I say in the book. They use your tax dollars to pay their salaries, to spin us and target us,” Attkisson remarked. “If you dare to go after them, they will target you, try to assassinate your character, they’ll call your bosses, they’ll email. We know all of this is going on, but we now have emails that they’ve been withholding under executive privilege that refer to this.”
“These are taxpayer-paid officials for the federal government spinning us with our own money,” she added.
Though the White House attempting to control the news was troubling, Attkisson said she has been targeted in far more alarming ways.
Last month Attkisson posted a video of text and files being deleted from her computer at high speeds, and she said a forensics report showed the software was proprietary to four government agencies.
Two different sources, she said, “theorized that that was an effort by somebody to let me know they were there … to put it in my face, to show me and maybe, perhaps, intimidate me.”
But Attkisson said the event did not scare her.
“I think the people who did this are cowards and bullies,” she said. “They’re afraid. They’re using surreptitious means and they’re — as I say in the book — like petulant schoolchildren stomping their feet against the exercise of reason. That’s how I see them.”
“But there’s no one to stop them,” Beck said with concern. “This is Soviet Union stuff, isn’t it?”
“Here’s what’s frightening to me,” Attkisson said. “I routinely have conversations now with other journalists, with sources and members of Congress who refer to the idea that they think our phone calls are probably being monitored and the computers — but there’s not really outrage. It’s sort of like, ‘We better not talk on the phone. Let’s talk about this in person.’ Where’s the outrage?”
Attkisson said much of the reason people have stopped standing up to government has to do with a new industry “most people don’t know about that’s built up in Washington, D.C.”
She said there are a number of PR companies that can be hired by anyone — including political interests — to do “character assassination, [a] propaganda campaign against any news story, any reporter … any whistle-blower … any politician that asks the tough questions.”
“They’re targeted by a sophisticated campaign that employs social media, fake Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, edits Wikipedia,” Attkisson said, adding that “you cannot understate the importance of this industry.”
“It’s very expansive and insidious and … if you don’t know it’s there, you won’t realize the extent to which the images you see every day are being manipulated by these paid interests,” Attkisson said.
The five-time Emmy award winning journalist said if there was only one more thing she could tell the American people, it would be to “wipe the fog off your figurative glasses and look at the propaganda campaign surrounding you.”
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