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Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:23 AM

Obama's war on whistleblowers leaves administration insiders unscathed

Since Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, his government has waged a war against whistleblowers and official leakers. On his watch, there have been eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act – more than double those under all previous presidents combined.

And yet other apparent leaks have gone entirely unpunished or have been treated, as in the case of General David Petraeus, as misdemeanors. As Abbe Lowell, lawyer for one of the Espionage Act eight, Stephen Kim, has argued in a letter to the Department of Justice, low-level officials who lack the political connections to fight back have had the book thrown at them, while high-level figures have been allowed to leak with “virtual impunity”.

Panetta, the former CIA director and defense secretary who has been a fixture in the Democratic firmament for decades, today spends his retirement on his walnut farm on California’s Monterey peninsula. Had his name been more obscure, or his position lower, he might have found himself in a less hospitable locale after permitting the makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty access to details about the secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Film-maker Mark Boal was permitted to attend a secret speech Panetta gave at CIA headquarters on 24 June 2011, less than two months after the raid. Military special operators were “all in uniform with name tapes” and seated at the front, according to a 2013 draft Pentagon inspector general report. Panetta’s speech – the text of which read “SECRET//NO FORN” – ie, not for release to foreigners – revealed “the unit that conducted the operation and identified the ground commander by name”.


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Reply Obama's war on whistleblowers leaves administration insiders unscathed (Original post)
jakeXT Mar 2015 OP
MrMickeysMom Mar 2015 #1

Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2015, 10:55 PM

1. It's no coincidence that a 100 year old law is being used against whistleblowers like Snowden...

… and it has no business being used to form some kind of prosecution any United States Citizen who points out how laws are being broken. This just shows what lengths the White House (exacerbated by Cheney) will use to protect how the operations of the CIA and NSA have become.

This distain for Americans who discover how information is being abused becomes the focus. As soon as someone points out what is wrong, this administration, fresh off the last one, focuses that story about the law breaking whistleblower, when the story should be about abuse of power.

Truth to power.

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