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.

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Comments on “Former Top Government Secrets Keeper Blasts Administration For Abusing Espionage Act To Punish Whistleblowers”

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A Guy (profile) says:

I despised Bush. I hated his approval of the continual erosion of our civil rights. I despised his economic policy. I saw the housing collapse coming. I thought, “There is no way a dem could do worse on civil rights or the economy” last time I voted. Maybe Obama isn’t doing worse, but he’s certainly not doing much better.

I may be voting for a Republican next time around just because.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

My hindsight opinion was we hadn’t hit rock bottom on disastrous GOP policies yet. Obama got handed impending disaster and has made some head way cleaning it up, but has been stymied at every point by the GOP in the Senate and now the House. But it also ends up looking like his disaster since he’s the one cleaning it up.

Couple that with absolutely pathetic messaging and the Tea Party is born in a fact free zone and now you can’t have a rational argument with anybody in the GOP.

But no Obama has not been near the ‘leader’ most hoped for. Compromise is fine, but not as your starting position which is what he’s done at almost every turn.

Anonymous Coward says:

To be honest I don’t believe is the Obama administration doing anything but not doing it.

Obama is not a leader, that much is clear by now and he just don’t order anything apparently, he let others decide what to do and he just acquiesces to the proposals he has no vision and those issues and where he does have a vision he is not good enough to implement those he lacks the “unity bug” that makes people come around and hear things.

With that said the real problem may be a uncontrolled government that have career bureaucrats calling the shots without having ever had to deal with the public.

Thomas (profile) says:


is rampant in the government. It is not a republican or democrat thing; it is just the nature of our government. Whistleblowers are lucky they do not get charged with treason and sent without trial to a “work camp” in some godforsaken place. All governments hate whistleblowers, and the more corrupt the government is the more they hate whistleblowers.

What congress most fears is someone managing to create a chart showing how much each congressman received (both up front and under the table) from corporations and showing how the congressman voted on issues concerning corporations. Of course all it would show is that every member of congress is corrupt to some degree.

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