Okay, Now Will People Admit That Ed Snowden Is A Whistleblower?

from the he-clearly-disclosed-abuse dept

Nearly two weeks ago, Michael German, at the ACLU, posted a somewhat prescient article detailing why Ed Snowden was clearly a "whistleblower" under the current definitions in US law:
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."

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.
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.

So can we drop whatever name calling game people are playing and agree that he meets the definition of a whistleblower?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    But is he a "covered employee" or is he a not-covered contractor? Expect the government to parse this to the last syllable and comma.

     

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  2.  
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    ebilrawkscientist (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    NO

    A Whistleblower is NOT a Traitor
    A Whistleblower is NOT a Terrorist

    The United Stasi of America needs to wake up and smell the coffee and get real.
    The only real threat to your democracy is paranoia and shizophrenia from your own government.

    There is no need for it.

    Now leave Snowden alone, he did you all a favour.

     

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  3.  
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    Digger, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Of course he's a whistleblower

    The NSA got caught with it's pants down amongst the rams on the sheep farm, and they're bluster is to try and cover up their heinous, illegal, treasonous (and with the sheep involved, rather sick) activities.

    The entire NSA should be reconstituted with all current members sent off to Gitmo for life (as long as it takes to chamber the next bullet).

     

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  4.  
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    Digger, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    He was hired, contactor or not, he was hired to do a job, had access to the data in question, which means he was covered... Period....

     

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  5.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    He actually managed to blow the whistle, so of course he's not covered.. you are only protected if you reveal things to someone who can safely cover it up or ignore it without having to worry about it actually being revealed.

     

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  6.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    citation needed!

     

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  7.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Personally, I call him a patriot.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    One of the greatest American Heroes.

     

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

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    The first American Patriots were traitors...

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Similarly on accurate naming...

    Not new, but you probably missed it:

    None Dare Call it FASCISM: How the NSA has (already) privatized tyranny

    http://dangerousminds.net/comments/none_dare_call_it_fascism_how_the_nsa_has_already_priv atized_tyranny

    Letís just not miss what is arguably an even greater danger, the privatization and outsourcing of tyranny itself to the big mega-corporates."



    Boy, Mike, you're really cranking out the fluff today! -- And where are the minions?

     

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  11.  
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    Michael, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    The flaw in that system is in that the people who decide who is and is not a whistleblower are the ones he has exposed.

    Perhaps we should let that decision rest in the hands of someone a bit more fair and impartial that our executive branch - you know, like the Russian government.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    "any violation of any law, rule, or regulation," or "gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, and abuse of authority,"

    Three is called a hat trick, what is nailing all six called?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    A perfect example.

     

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

  14.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Similarly on accurate naming...

    Letís just not miss what is arguably an even greater danger


    Nobody's missed that. It's discussed very frequently here.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    No... keep the namecalling going on, I had a good one to rename the government too:
    Douchebag denialists

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re:

    That's not how the law works. The whistleblower protection act protects government employees. Snowden worked for Booz Allen.

    If he was a government employee, he would be covered. Period.

     

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

  17.  
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    Political Fool, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    I created a petition to see if the jokers at the whitehouse would actually acknowledge this. Of course know one can see it because now it needs 150 responses to be seen.

    Maybe if some of you will go click on it, it might get seen.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-edward-snowden-whistle-blower-and-guara ntee-he-will-not-face-charges-his-acts-courage/m4pCqtjR

     

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  18.  
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    Ben (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Similarly on accurate naming...

    You apparently quoted:
    Letís just not miss what is arguably an even greater danger
    Just what are you quoting? That doesn't appear anywhere else (except now, here) in this article.

     

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  19.  
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    Ben (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Similarly on accurate naming...

    Oops -- quoting part of a message which was subsequently hidden (and doesn't even show up in search...)

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    unfortunately, because of the number of infringements he found, the extent to which he has proven what a lying bunch of arse holes are in charge of the USA and the embarrassment to the Administration caused by him finding and releasing this amount of abuse (no one ever expected anything to be found, let alone this amount, so there was no way to actually deny what was/still is going on) to the American people, of US laws and the Constitution, he can never be classed as 'a whistleblower' because it would hurt the pride of those involved. therefore, he must be apprehended at the first opportunity, punished in keeping with the traditional way of dealing with someone that was disliked by the government. that can only happen if he is classed as anything other than what he really is, whilst hiding the real perpetrators behind multiple, very loud, bullshit claims and excuses!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Re: NO

    Now go tell my government that. I would, but I don't want to be labeled a terrorist for speaking my mind.

     

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  22.  
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    CK20XX, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Good grief, I never thought of it that way before. =o Once again we're at a point where we must hang together or we will most assuredly hang separately, as Ben Franklin said.

     

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  23.  
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    Paul, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Personally, I call him a "True American Hero" who deserves a medal for exposing the sickening corruption within our government. PLUS - I think O-Blame-O needs to return his undeserved NOBEL award with instructions to give it to to SNOWDEN (who does deserve it).

    Snowden is on my list of the 10 most influential people of this century. His actions will hopefully educate & inform "We the People" causing them to rise up to destroy the established unconstitutional TYRANNY and restore our Democratic Society. Hell, I'd vote for Snowden if he ran for President. I trust Snowden. I don't trust the current administration. They need to be sent to Gitmo.......

    I want my Democracy back.
    I want my Constitution back.
    I want my Privacy back.

     

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

  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    I call him "sack of shit."

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    Treason, apparently.

     

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

  26.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    anti-lady byng trophy winner?

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    I would literally pay to watch Obama forced to hand over his Nobel to Snowden.
    Pay-per-view event of a lifetime.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Dave Xanatos, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    I would say he 'knocked it for six', but what he's doing really isn't cricket.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    I'm afraid if I sign in, the NSA will target me :~(

     

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

  30.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re:

    well you can't please everyone :)

     

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

  31.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    We've already been through this.

    He didn't fill any of the government provided whistleblower forms nor solicit a whistleblower license. He also didn't use the double-secret special whistleblower handshake, so clearly he isn't officially a whistleblower.

     

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


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