• Fearing the Truth

    March 1, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Other Ideas

    Three more news sources have picked up on the sad story of the Obama Administration’s vicious use of the Espionage Act and other extra-legal actions to silence whistleblowers.

    The New American quotes ABC News’ Jake Tapper, the reporter that raised the whistleblower cases at a White House press conference. Tapper said “it’s not like they are instances of government employees leaking the location of secret nuclear sites. These are classic whistle-blower cases that dealt with questionable behavior by government officials or its agents acting in the name of protecting America.”

    The New York Times also weighed in on the issue of government retaliation against whistleblowers:

    The majority of the recent prosecutions seem to have everything to do with administrative secrecy and very little to do with national security.

    In case after case, the Espionage Act has been deployed as a kind of ad hoc Official Secrets Act, which is not a law that has ever found traction in America, a place where the people’s right to know is viewed as superseding the government’s right to hide its business.

    Indeed, the paper noted the irony that while former CIA Officer John Kiriakou is being prosecuted aggressively merely for leaking some information about waterboarding to journalists, “none of the individuals who engaged in or authorized the waterboarding of terror suspects have been prosecuted.”

    The New American adds:

    The administration doesn’t always rely on prosecution to teach whistleblowers a lesson. It has other ways of retaliating against them, as Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren learned when he wrote the book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. Van Buren is still employed by the State Department, but he has been stripped of his security clearance, transferred to what he calls “a meaningless telework position,” threatened with prosecution, and otherwise harassed. As a result, he writes, “a career that typically would extend another 10 years will be cut short in retaliation for [his] attempt to tell the truth about how taxpayer money was squandered in Iraq.”

    The story of whistleblower retaliation also was featured on the Daily Kos, which included this quote from my NPR “All Things Considered” interview:

    And I find that, yes, it is worth it, it was worth it, and it will be worth it to answer that level of hypocrisy and demand from that Secretary of State, Madam, why is your institution not allowing me the same rights that you’re bleating about for bloggers around the world? Why not here at home?

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  • Recent Comments

    • Lisa said...


      “Secretary of State, Madam, why is your institution not allowing me the same rights that you’re bleating about for bloggers around the world? Why not here at home?”

      Breathtakingly succinct.

      How can anyone miss the hypocrisy?

      03/1/12 6:46 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      I get easily confused,but isn’t espionage a nation state endeavor.
      What nation state was involved in all the whistle blower cases? The intent is not there. The info was not passed to a hostile gov’t , but was used only for classic whistle blowing purpose.
      Yesterday i read that Assange is being considered for Espionage prosecution. What has happened to the concept of jurisdiction?

      03/2/12 3:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...


      The Espionage Act was passed in 1917 to deal with German spying in WWI. Even then it was of dubious Constitutionality. Your points/questions are indeed valid, and further expose how shaky these prosecutions by Obama are.

      03/2/12 3:56 PM | Comment Link

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