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THE “LAND OF THE FREE” IS SLIPPING … 

The United States has plunged thirteen spots on the latest Press Freedom Index – compiled annually by global information freedom advocates, Reporters Without Borders.

“O’ say does that star-spangled banner still wave … o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Yeah … anyway, America now ranks No. 46 out of 180 nations (ahead of Haiti but below Romania). What prompted our tumble? Easy: We are now a land which hunts down its whistleblowers and spies on its reporters.

Same for Great Britain, apparently …

“Both the US and UK authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries,” the compilers of the index noted.

In fact they specifically noted that the hunt for Snowden and the prosecution of Wikileaks’ source Bradley Manning were “warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest.”

Indeed …

“The economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many negative repercussions,” writes Michael Krieger of the Liberty Blitzkrieg blog. “One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted.”

And one of those is the ongoing erosion of the freedom of the press …