What the Whistleblower Prosecution Says About the Obama DOJ

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"The message is clear- you torture people and then destroy the evidence, and you get off without so much as a sternly worded letter.

If you are a whistle blower outlining criminal behavior by the government, [] you get prosecuted." Juan Cole

Published on Friday, April 16, 2010 by Salon.com What the Whistleblower Prosecution Says About the Obama DOJ

by Glenn Greenwald

The more I think and read about the Obama DOJ's prosecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, the more I think this might actually be one of the worst steps the Obama administration has taken yet, if not the single worst step -- and that's obviously saying a lot. During the Bush years, in the wake of the NSA scandal, I used to write post after post about how warped and dangerous it was that the Bush DOJ was protecting the people who criminally spied on Americans (Bush, Cheney Michael Hayden) while simultaneously threatening to prosecute the whistle-blowers who exposed misconduct. But the Bush DOJ never actually followed through on those menacing threats; no NSA whistle-blowers were indicted during Bush's term (though several were threatened). It took the election of Barack Obama for that to happen, as his handpicked Assistant Attorney General publicly boasted yesterday of the indictment against Drake

More: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/16-3

norske's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


I say it greatly depicts business as usual on the Capitol. Protect the integrity of the government regardless the cost.

Although they do say on an updated post. That the counts he is being tried on are from prior to the whistleblowing incident mentioned originally. Saying he was leaking TS information to the reporter. But what do you believe?

RITTERBY's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"Although they do say on an updated post. That the counts he is being tried on are from prior to the whistleblowing incident mentioned originally. Saying he was leaking TS information to the reporter. But what do you believe?:

My sense of it is that the prosecution of whistle blowers transcends party affiliation and is part of the self perpetuating protection meme inherent when power serves power. If Madoff had confined his Ponzi scheme to the working class it would have been much ado about nothing. If whistle blowers confined their whistle blowing on matters of insignificance, not much would have happened.

Expose the deceit and wealth of oligarchy and you will be held to task.

Time and again people who should be honored and rewarded are being prosecuted and jailed. Sooner or later we will all get the message to leave those in power alone.

norske's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

DOJ went after Eliot Spitzer after he exposed banker fraud, DOJ is beholden to the thieves, or is it Dons...as in Corleone... or maybe just family.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

More of the same.

"Maj. Gen. Taguba conducted the first (and only real) investigation of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. His brutally honest report was leaked to the press - and thus became largely responsible for preventing the scandal from being swept entirely under the rug. Rather than thank Taguba for upholding the honor of the U.S. Army, the Bush administration and more senior generals singled him out for ridicule, retribution and forced retirement. They made him an example of what happens if you don't toe the party line."

Lie to Congress; Get Fourth Star

by Ray McGovern

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander may well be harboring the thought attributed to prevaricator Oliver North upon being spared punishment -- and instead getting rewarded handsomely -- for lying about the Iran-Contra Affair: "Is this a great country or what!"

Gen. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency since August 2005, is about to become what the Army describes as "dual hatted." The Senate is about to confirm him to another highly sensitive leadership position requiring the utmost integrity and fidelity to the Constitution when he has shown neither.

Despite that, after sizing up the enormous challenge of running the new U.S. cyber-warfare command, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, looked at Gen. Alexander and added, "And you're the right person for it."

Not for the first time, neither Inhofe nor his colleagues seem to have done their homework. Or maybe it is simply the case that Congress now accepts being lied to as part of the woodwork in the Capitol.

Alexander, you see, has a publicly established record of lying about NSA's warrantless wiretapping. Call me naïve or obsolete, but when I was an Army officer it was understood that an officer did not lie - and especially not to Congress. Gen. Alexander seems to have missed that block of instruction.

And the same can be said for so many other very senior Army officers. It becomes easier to understand why Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba compared some of his colleagues during the Bush administration to the Mafia.

More: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/17-5

norske's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

What I find interesting is that the Baltimore Sun appears to have removed the story in question from it's search results. It may still be available but doesn't appear in the results. Searching for "Siobhan Gorman" and "Thomas A. Drake" and "nsa" produced Baltimore Sun Reporter Appears To Have Been Recipient Of Leaks From Indicted NSA Officialas a result. In that story it is stated that "she penned a piece headlined "Computer ills hinder NSA.", and NSA risking electrical overload: Officials say outage could leave Md.-based spy agency paralyzed but searching for it on the Baltimore Sun's site doesn't produce them, thus showing that the media, The Baltimore Sun, is scared and will not perform its duty in the public good.

However, due to the nature of the Internet, "Computer ills hinder NSA: 2 technology programs, weapons for the war on terrorism, have proved duds" on February 26, 2006 and NSA risking electrical overload: Officials say outage could leave Md.-based spy agency paralyzed on 6 August 2006 by Siobhan Gorman of the Baltimore Sun are still available.

As someone who worked as an engineer for a defense contractor in the 1980s, I can understand the security issues, but as with any enterprise, there are problems due to bad management. Whistle blowers not only disclose government bad behavior but also problems that aren't dealt with within "proper" channels due to bad managment. For example, Management shortcomings seen at NSA: Report identifies a culture of distrust, failures of oversight discusses systemic problems within the NSA that more than likely made it impossible for Drake to resolve certain technical issues, that forced him to see whistle blowing as the only recourse to ensure the public's safety. Therefore, what this tells me is not that the Obama administration is a continuation of the Orwellian Bush administration, but that the Obama administration is more concerned for perpetuating and protecting bureaucracy than perpetuating and protecting our democracy and the American people.

What this suit will do is not protect the security of the NSA, or any other agency, but protect bad, unresponsive management and their bad decisions. And, that's bad for us, the American people.

jeffbiss's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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