US Gov War on Whistleblowers Intensifying

Government, Intelligence (government), Media, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy

War on whistle-blowers intensifies

By Glenn Greenwald for Salon.com

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AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
In this March 19, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

The Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers — whose disclosures are one of the very few remaining avenues for learning what our government actually does — continues to intensify. Last month, the DOJ announced it had obtained an indictment against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed serious waste, abuse and possible illegality. Then, the DOJ re-issued a Bush era subpoena to Jim Risen of The New York Times, demanding the identity of his source who revealed an extremely inept and damaging CIA effort to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear program. And now, as Politico‘s Josh Gerstein reports, an FBI linguist who leaked what he believed to be evidence of lawbreaking is to receive a prison term that is “likely to become the longest ever served by a government employee accused of passing national security secrets to a member of the media.” As Gerstein explains:

[I]t reflects a surprising development: President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has taken a hard line against leakers, and Obama himself has expressed anger about disclosures of national security deliberations in the press. . . .

“They’re going after this at every opportunity and with unmatched vigor,” said Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, a critic of government classification policy. . . .