We have been discussing how the free press is under attack in both the United States and Europe. Like free speech, Western nations appear to have lost patience with free press protections. The latest example is an outrageous raid on a leading media organization in Australia. On the heels of the Assange case and other attacks on media protections, the raid on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation raises a chilling prospect that the free press could soon go the way of free speech in the West.
ABC ran an important story two years ago that alleged that Australian soldiers killed unarmed civilians and children in Afghanistan. It relied on hundreds of pages of secret military files that suggested Australian soldiers had killed unarmed civilians and children in Afghanistan.
This week, the federal police raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters with a warrant naming a news director and the two reporters on the story. They gained access to almost 10,000 documents in a direct assault on press freedom. The police simply cited a 1914 law forbidding the release of secret government information and said that it considered such use of classified information to be an “extremely serious matter with the potential to undermine Australia’s national security.”
So is the eradication of a free press. Indeed, the free press is far more essential to preserving liberty than the classification of such documents.
Notably, July 2017 airing of “The Afghan Files,” also revealed alleged war crimes that caused the public to call for the investigation of the government.
The government intends now to be committed to guarantee that it does not happen again. Not the killings mind you . . . the disclosure of such killings.