Former Top Government Secrets Keeper Blasts Administration For Abusing Espionage Act To Punish Whistleblowers
from the sad dept
We’ve discussed the rather disappointing and immensely troubling efforts by the Obama administration, which promised more transparency and encouraged whistleblowing upon taking office, to attack whistleblowers any way it can. As noted, the administration has been using the Espionage Act — which is supposed to be used against spies — against whistleblowers, and has done so more often than all previous Presidents combined. Of course, the first big case against a whistleblower, Thomas Drake, completely collapsed.
Now it’s come out that a former government official, J. William Leonard, who was in charge of the Information Security Oversight Office was so disturbed by the Thomas Drake case that he filed a formal complaint with both the Justice Department and the NSA and offered to testify on Drake’s behalf that “there were no secrets at issue” and that he had never seen “a more deliberate and willful example of government officials improperly classifying a document.”
Leonard held his role during the Bush administration (which was fairly notorious for secret keeping in its own right — though not to this level). So some may argue that it’s purely a political move. But these sorts of roles generally aren’t particularly partisan, and even when there are political party differences, this sort of effort is pretty rare.