I have blogged here about an increasingly toxic trend: Bush harassed whistleblowers mercilessly, but Obama is prosecuting them and sending them to jail. See http://mobile.politico.com/... Thomas Drake has been indicted by the Holder Justice Department for allegedly "leaking" secrets of the National Security Agency (NSA)--the agency that engaged in illegal electronic eavesdropping--to the media. The Holder Justice Department reissued a Bush-era grand jury subpoena against New York Times reporter James Risen for the sources he relied on in a chapter of his 2006 book. Both men face jail time.
Here's a news flash America: Vilified as "leakers," whistleblowers have exposed the biggest scandals of this generation: torture, warrantless wiretapping, and being lied into war.
A lot of national security whistleblowers thought the shackles were off once Obama was elected. However, a few weeks ago, Thomas Drake was indicted for allegedly "leaking" National Security Agency (NSA) information during the Bush years.
Yesterday, ironically on the start of the National Whistleblower Assembly, the Justice Department convicted Shamai Leibowitz, an FBI linguist, who was sentenced to 20 months in jail after pleading guilty to giving classified information to a blogger.
Mr. Liebowitz will soon have the dubious distinction of becoming the government employee who serves the longest sentence ever for passing "national security secrets" to the media.
Bush royally screwed with leakers: harassing them, pulling their security clearances, blacklisting them and bankrupting them. As a whistleblower in the case of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, I was hammered with a pretextual criminal investigation, referral to the state bars in which I'm licensed, and a stint on the "No-Fly List." But the criminal case was eventually dismissed with no charges ever being brought.
Appallingly, the Holder Justice Department, with President Obama's blessing, is being far harsher on whistleblowers than Bush. As a candidate, Obama said:
Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism should be encouraged rather than stifled.
Then commute the jail sentence of Brad Birkenfeld, dismiss the indictment against Tom Drake, and end the criminal investigation of Tom Tamm. Obama talked the talk to get elected, but he's not walking the walk on this one. The only walk that's being done is the perp walk by the people he once hailed as
watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance.