Okay, Now Will People Admit That Ed Snowden Is A Whistleblower?
from the he-clearly-disclosed-abuse dept
It is actually not a hard question to answer. The Whistleblower Protection Act protects "any disclosure" that a covered employee reasonably believes evidences "any violation of any law, rule, or regulation," or "gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, and abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety."It goes on to give some evidence of how Snowden's leaks fit into those categories:
In the two months since Snowden's alleged disclosures, no fewer than five lawsuits have been filed challenging the legality of the surveillance programs he exposed. The author of the Patriot Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), called the scope of data collection revealed in one of the leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders "incredibly troubling," and "an overbroad interpretation of the Act" that "raise[s] questions about whether our constitutional rights are secure."Of course, even then, some argued that since the revelations did not, in fact, reveal direct "abuses," he still wasn't a "whistleblower." But that's no longer true. As we've been detailing, his leaks have led to the clear evidence of not just a few random abuses, but rather thousands of abuses by the NSA every year.
It doesn't end there. Over a dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to narrow these now public surveillance authorities and increase transparency regarding continuing programs. No one can know what was in Edward Snowden's mind, but clearly he could have had a reasonable belief the documents he leaked to the news media revealed government illegality and abuse of authority.
The disclosures also revealed that U.S. military officers and intelligence community officials have been less than truthful in their public comments and congressional testimony about the government's domestic surveillance practices, both in the scope of the programs and their effectiveness. Such false and misleading testimony threatens more than just Americans' privacy; it threatens democratic control of government.
So can we drop whatever name calling game people are playing and agree that he meets the definition of a whistleblower?