Irony: Congress May Declare Today 'National Whistleblower Day' As Court Announces Manning Verdict

from the how-we-treat-our-whistleblowers dept

In a few hours, the court hearing the Bradley Manning trial will be announcing the verdict. I'm sure we'll have plenty of commentary on the eventual decision, but it's worth noting this bit of ridiculousness. Senator Chuck Grassley is trying to get today declared National Whistleblower Day by Congress, in honor of the Constitutional Congress' very first whitleblower protection law, enacted on July 30, 1778. As the article notes, Grassley has worked hard over the years to protect whistleblowers, but we recently wrote about his hypocrisy on the subject, passing a special law for a Swiss bank security guard who did more or less the same thing as Ed Snowden, while bashing Snowden for not facing a trial in the US. Congress just really has a knack for doing the exact wrong thing, don't they? If they want to actually support whistleblowers, they should support whistleblowers, not name a pointless day after them on the very same day that a high profile whistleblower likely finds out that he's going to spend much, if not all, of the rest of his life in jail.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 3:20am

    What better way to control whistleblowers.

    Declare a day for them, giving them a false sense of security to turn over critical information, and have them arrested and tried for it, with a guilty plea/ruling guaranteed.

    This will ensure future whistleblowers keep their mouth shut.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 4:31am

    Re:

    This will ensure future whistleblowers keep their mouth shut.

    History says that when the repression ramps up so the ones blowing the whistle come forth. No amount of repression will ensure nothing happens ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 4:33am

    Congress just really has a knack for doing the exact wrong thing, don't they?

    They are just throwing flashy things for the media to get votes. It's only natural. During his campaign Obama said and promised a variety of things. How much of it came to fruition?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:00am

    I bet this is just a trick to distract people from the Manning trial.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Kan, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re:

    North Korea

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Depends upon what type of "whistle" is being blown.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Bill Clinton approves

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:20am

    Welcome to Amerika

    In America you blow whistle. In Obama's Amerika whistle blows you (not in a good way).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    I can't wait to see how people celebrate this day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Even in NK there are dissident voices. The regime can sustain itself due to external influences I'd argue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    To me there is a big difference

    Snowden has been narrowly tailoring his leaks to only what is necessary to alert the American public, while Manning indiscriminately dumped 250,000 cables, which, while embarrassing, is completely unnecessary just to prove his point. If he had stuck to Collateral Murder and hand-picking stories such as delivering little boys to Afghan warlords, I would have more respect.

    But hey, since they are going to ruin your life anyway regardless of what you release, might as well ruin theirs I guess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Re:

    By blowing whistles and buying mattresses and cars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    They do this so that they can say they support whistleblowers but that Snowden and Manning are not whistleblowers, it is a sad sad day when the government knows exactly how to manipulate the population into supporting everything they do, well the uninformed masses that is, there are many that understand that Manning and Snowden are real whistleblowers and not the whistleblowers that only release info that the government wants them to. What is the bet that they award someone special notice so as to say that whistle blowing is alive and well in the US. As i said it is a sad sad day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    > . . . and have them arrested and tried for it, with a guilty plea/ruling guaranteed


    What!? No enhanced interrogation techniques?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    Re: To me there is a big difference

    It wasn't just a big intel dump to the internet for anyone to access.

    You forgot a step in Manning's release plan: He gave it to Wikileaks for them to filter out names of people who might be harmed and then disseminate the information to the media. Just as they had been doing for other whistleblowers prior to this incident. That is how the story broke out in the mainstream media after all. Larger news organizations like the New York Times picked up the story and told about the release of diplomatic cables. Then it was Manning that was betrayed by Adrian Lamo who brought everything to the Federal agencies and outed the whistleblower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    DMNTD, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:32am

    Senator Chuck Grassley, trolling with the best of em it seems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    arcan, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    this guy needs to be in politics... wait...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    Re: To me there is a big difference

    Don't be too hard on the man, he had hot stuff burning his hands. Probably wanted to get rid of it before someone notices it.

    Besides, what (real) harm came to "teh american nation" because of the release of info from 2 wars long ended?

    Snowden did it more smartly, with the dead man's switch and all that, but Manning was just as brave.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re: Welcome to Amerika

    Blows you up from a drone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Ragnarredbeard (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Not Irony

    Manning isn't a whistleblower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    Re: Not Irony

    And you're not a troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    Re: Not Irony

    As much as I want to disagree with you, you're correct. Manning was in the US Army and there's a few rules about leaking information that you have to follow. While it may not be espionage, the US Army's rank and clearance rules apply. Manning leaked information that probably put the lives if others in danger. While he did not commit treason or espionage, he did make reports to wiki leaks based on his own opinions rather than what's actually going on. His job was to take and execute his orders and let his superiors figure out why they had to give them.

    Also, if there were issues within his platoon or group, he failed to follow chain rules concerning chain of command in telling his concerns by not reporting it to his immediate superior. You just don't flat out leak information like he did when youre a part of the US Military.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Someone should amend that bill with a clause pardoning both Manning and Snowden.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re: To me there is a big difference

    If memory serves there was a work to comb out problematic material and redact names that involved Wikileaks, NYT, Guardian among others. What's the difference?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Ragnarredbeard (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Not Irony

    I'm not. Under the appropriate Federal laws and DoD/Army regulations, Manning was not a whistleblower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Jasmine Charter, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Hurrah for Whistleblowers...

    US Government: We support and endorse all whisteleblowers as vital and necessary part of any democracy... unless... they release information that we don't want them too... or... release information that might be embarrassing... or um... pretty much any information at all...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    National Whistleblower Day is a day to commemorate the fate of whistleblowers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    RD, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: Welcome to Amerika

    "In America you blow whistle. In Obama's Amerika whistle blows you (not in a good way)."

    Will you people PLEASE knock it off with this partisan bullshit already. It's not Obama's anything, its the entire American political system. Both Dems and Repubs are responsible for the mess we are in, both groups are culpable and guilty. Trying to pin everything on one man is ridiculous. Even Bush Jr. had Cheny and Rumsfeld and many others helping him ruin what was once the greatest democracy in the world. To lay the entirety of this mess on just Obama shows a stunning lack of understanding of history and the current political climate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    wec, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    As for Manning and Snowdon, remember in American politics 'No good deed goes unpunished'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    how thoughtless and uncaring can people be? the guy exposed the USA army's behaviour and the most important body of politicians in the land announce something that is as false as any statement that has or ever could be made by a government! callous isn't the word, taking the piss is nearer the mark! i hope they live to regret this!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    And those are? Support your argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    I'm not sure Congress can do that. Issuing of pardons is a power of the Executive Branch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    Can somebody say conceited? You are the informed and know exactly the way it should be. Yet, you are not the one in charge and making the rules. Why is that? Could it be that you truly don't know wtf you are talking about and are just living in your own little dream world?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re:

    How do you think they got the ruling? The pleas were from "electronically-enhanced interrogative techniques".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Not Irony

    And he plead guilty to those. And spare us the "just following orders" speech again. That doesn't fly and you know it. Soldiers are not supposed to follow orders when those orders mean breaking the law and assisting in covering up evidence of wrong doing so that it does not come out would be an obstruction of justice. That may be a little bit of a stretch, but it's way less of a stretch than the logic releasing embarrassing evidence of abuses of power for publication is somehow "aiding the enemy".

    Furthermore, if the information "put the lives of others in danger," citation please? Name one specific instance where this occurred. Just as the Courts through out the first ACLU case because the ACLU had to show that there was actually harm caused to them, same with this sort of claim. Seriously, name one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yet, you are not the one in charge and making the rules.


    He might be. I can't know, I'm haven't really been informed about who's in charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Not Irony

    Manning was in the US Army and there's a few rules about leaking information that you have to follow.


    Irrelevant. It doesn't matter what the law (military or otherwise) defines as "whistleblower". If you are exposing wrongdoing, you are a whistleblower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    RonKaminsky (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Welcome to The Village

    ... You are Number 6.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    akp (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re:

    And they have to be convicted before they can be pardoned.

    Everyone asking for pardons needs to say "drop all charges" instead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    But he is a whistle blower...his only wrongdoing was skipping the chain of command straight to wikileaks. The only thing they can do to him is court marshal him back down to private.

    I'm merely referring to the fact that he leaked information in stead of reporting it to his superiors through chain of command. Whistle blower or not, there's a certain way to blow the proverbial whistle and certain JAG procedures Manning failed to comply with.

    The key difference between Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden is that Snowden is continuing to preserve the information that really needs to be classified. Manning leaked EVERYTHING he could find which includes ...troop movements...That information from Manning was not being preserved which is why news agencies outside of Wikileaks rarely reported anything Manning gave them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    Manning didn't just report the behavior...he also reported troop movements to Wikileaks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    It is not required to report to chain of command when whistle blowing.

    In fact when obvious illegalities are taking place in such an extreme nature, the simple act of "reporting to superiors" can get you in deep, deep trouble.

    After all, these are acts being perpetuated by your superiors. What would his superiors do with the information? ALSO report to their superiors?

    This is why you have whistleblower protection acts. This isn't the same as reporting an infraction of the rules.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    I'm not saying what he did was legal, just that it was whistleblowing. I don't see how he has many options other than the one he took, though. Going through the official channels is not only pointless, but counterproductive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    Secondly I think it's already been stated that no actual harm came from Mannings leaked documents...

    Of which the government refused to work with Wikileaks in telling them which documents should NOT be released, or what information should be redacted.

    Remember, Wikileaks tried to reach out before releasing everything en masse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not true. Ford pardoned Nixon to prevent the country from being dragged down by having to endure a lengthy public trial after he resigned from office.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    Troop movements of operations that HAD ALREADY OCCURRED.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For which I'll never forgive Ford. But, good point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Might I suggest 'Honesty in Politics Day'?

    To be held on each February 29th, as it's about that rare.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Re: Might I suggest 'Honesty in Politics Day'?

    Feb 29th should be "Honesty in Politics Eve". Honesty in Politics Day would be February 30th.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Not Irony

    As much as I want to disagree with you, you're correct. Manning was in the US Army and there's a few rules about leaking information that you have to follow

    He did go up the chain of command and was ignored and told to shut up.

    Manning leaked information that probably put the lives if others in danger.

    That's been claimed, but there is ZERO support for it.

    His job was to take and execute his orders and let his superiors figure out why they had to give them.

    "Just doing my job" is not an excuse if you come across wrongdoing.

    he failed to follow chain rules concerning chain of command

    He did not. He first ran those issues up the chain of command and was ignored.

    Wally, once again, you say things that are factually untrue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are not that technically advanced. Electrically enhanced is more likely.

    On the other hand: Keeping someone in isolation for more than 3 years amounts to a far more effective technique if you want to break a human being down. The only downside of the technique is the time-requirement and that is why other techniques are preferred.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re:

    The President signs the bill into law though, and he can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    National Whistleblower Day--an annual reminder that whistleblowers will not be tolerated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    I declare today "National Congress Can Blow Me Day".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    A slight change

    The name just needs a slight change:
    "National (Lynch A) Whistleblower Day"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    True, but in the Military...especially the Army. It must be done. I'm aware he blew the whistle, which is why the Aiding the Enemy charge didn't stick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    I have a firm grasp as to this situation concerning chain of command. And you'll note it wasn't just behavior he leaked, but troop movements. Leaking that type of intel puts those in the Army Intelligence services and divisions on harm's way. Army Intel goes in and figures out the local customs and various,if any, dangers to avoid. They also gather the local Insectivora population to see what diseases the local mosquitoes carry. The movement of those people is kept classified. That info on the whereabouts of those people were leaked, not just there behavior.

    As far as the change of command issue, his superiors fear losing their positions. While the behaviors need to be reported, the base commander is the one who carries out these problems. The Department of Defense is working up change that pronto...why? I suggested it out of concern for the sexual assault that goes on in the military and nothing been done to those responsible to my Aunt who is now on the DOD's Military Intelligence community after just finishing a tour in Djibouti.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    *Manning

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

    His job was to take and execute his orders and let his superiors figure out why they had to give them.

    "Just doing my job" is not an excuse if you come across wrongdoing.


    Errr, I'M probably earning some Godvin points, but:
    *NAZI SOLDIERS JUST FOLLOWED ORDERS*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This