Director Of National Intelligence 'Celebrates' National Whistleblower Day... Without Mentioning Snowden Once

from the he-who-shall-not-be-named,-who-did-the-things-that-shall-not-be-mentioned dept

In accordance with the new instructions to wrap its arms gingerly around transparency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is following the letter of the law in its tepid celebration of National Whistleblower Day.

The admission that this is something beyond the office's control doesn't appear until the fifth paragraph of the ODNI's "National Whistleblower Celebration Day" post -- which definitely gives it the appearance of being something it wouldn't have done if it had been given the choice.

The Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus Introduced a resolution that designated July 30, 2016 as Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The resolution “encourages federal agencies to acknowledge employees who call attention to fraud waste and abuse and remind employees of their legal rights as whistleblowers.”

The lack of proper punctuation suggests this was copy-pasted from somewhere similarly comma- and enthusiasm-free. And while there are a few nods to the new mechanisms available to whistleblowers, the complaints will all end up in the ODNI's office sooner or later. This perhaps explains why there are so few of them, despite the program's supposedly "robust outreach" and "reprisal intake functions."

Ah. Robust. Eighteen blown whistles in two-and-a-half years, with zero landing before an outside review board.

On the other hand, there may be some sincerity in the post, seeing as Daniel Meyer -- the intelligence official quoted in the press release -- is probably in need of some whistleblower protection. Not only is he the Executive Director of IC Whistleblowing and Source Protection, he's also a customer:

The Obama administration’s top official overseeing how intelligence agencies handle whistleblower retaliation claims has lodged his own complaint, alleging he was punished for disclosing “public corruption.”

Daniel Meyer, who previously oversaw the Defense Department’s decisions on whistleblowing cases, also says he was targeted for being gay, according to records obtained by McClatchy.

Meyer made the allegations in a complaint before the Merit Systems Protection Board, an administrative panel that handles employment grievances from federal employees, after another agency rejected his claims.

There's also the matter of the elephant (who was once) in the room (but now resides somewhere in Russia). Despite there being widespread acknowledgment that Edward Snowden's leaks have been responsible for the first meaningful surveillance reforms in years, Snowden's name is nowhere to be found in the ODNI's celebratory post.

Maybe that's because the Presidential Policy Directive instituting better protections for intelligence community whistleblowers was issued in October 2012, well ahead of the initial Snowden leak. Maybe that's why the ODNI is completely restrained in its celebration of its most famous whistleblower. Then again, the PPD gave agencies 270 days to comply, which means most of them were forced to put this policy into effect just one month after Snowden's first leak, at the latest. That has to sting a little.

Whatever the case is -- whether it's a lack of actual wrongdoing or a system that still doesn't do quite enough to protect whistleblowers against reprisals -- the low number of complaints currently making their way through the system are being handled "lawfully," according to ODNI. This would put policy compliance in line with its multiple bulk interception/metadata programs, which have always been referred to as "lawful" during multiple "no comments" delivered in response to multiple leaks.

For all intents and purposes, it is Snowden Day, which now comes twice a year -- and will never be officially acknowledged once.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 1 Aug 2016 @ 10:53am

    "Without Mentioning Snowden Once"
    Thats because they don't consider Snowden a whistleblower.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:45pm

      That's exactly where my brain went.

      Whistleblowers should be celebrated, for certain definitions of Whistleblower.

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

    • identicon
      David, 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      Well, Snowden tried blowing "the whistle" before doing anything else, it's just that the whistle he had been given is massive without an air path.

      Which is why "National Whistleblower Day" is as full of celebration as "National Unicorn Day": anybody getting the message out has obviously done something other than whistleblowing according to the rule book. What we are celebrating are actually heaps of horse crap if you look too closely.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 10:55am

    Perhaps they have gotten confused about what they are supposed to be doing, I mean this isn't supposed to be a celebration of the whistleblowers they've taken out for daring to point out the bad acts that must be covered up.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 10:58am

    Maybe in this case "whistle blower" means ratting out your neighbor for (enter minor offense).

    Just an extension of the If you see something silliness.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:06am

    Don't tell me not one person in the event said out loud something like "Good thing it's warm today, we don't want Snowden in this party, yes?" followed by a pirate-y "har har har".

    Lame.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:10am

    The Director of National Intelligence celebrating National Whistleblowers day, is akin to Roger Ailes celebrating International Womens Day.

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

  • identicon
    Anon-A-Mouse, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:22am

    because he wasn't one

    A whistle blower would be someone who went to Congress, or the IG and said, "This sh^t aint right." Snowden is someone who took a sh^t ton of classified and gave it away to everyone. That's not whistleblowing, that's treason. Whisteblowers should be sheltered, but always get screwed anyway. Snowden should swing from a tree or stare at the world from behind bars in Leavenworth, Kansas for the rest of his life.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:35am

      Re: because he wasn't one

      Techdirt did an article a while ago regarding those [url=https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130829/01280024346/no-snowden-didnt-have-any-other-avenues- to-blow-whistle.shtml]other avenues[url]...

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:36am

      "If the sheep has a legitimate grievance, it is welcome to walk into the wolf den and air it."

      A whistle blower would be someone who went to Congress, or the IG and said, "This sh^t aint right."

      At which point someone replies, "We'll look into it", Snowden finds himself out of a job and under investigation, and things continue on same as before.

      What happens to people who use the 'official' route is pretty well established at this point, including how well it works at actually solving the problem that's been exposed.

      Snowden is someone who took a sh^t ton of classified and gave it away to everyone.

      Incorrect, he handed it to several reporters who then decided what should and should not be released based upon what they felt was newsworthy(and for a while there what would best expose the lies being made).

      Unrelated but I can't help but find it funny how you seem averse to typing out 'shit', but have no problem with saying that someone should be executed or spend the rest of their life behind bars. Ah the different and oft-times strange standards of obscenity...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:40am

      Re: because he wasn't one

      Reveling to the AMERICAN PEOPLE that the PEOPLES GOVERNMENT was committing illegal acts is not treason its called patriotism.

      It should also be noted that Snowden did try the official channels and got nowhere.

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

      • identicon
        David, 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re: because he wasn't one

        The "reveling" was done by Clapper et al. What Snowden did was "revealing".
        It should also be noted that Snowden did try the official channels and got nowhere.

        Well, that's the point of the kind of "whistleblowing" celebrated here. You don't expect the cheerleaders to score field goals either.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:44am

      Re: because he wasn't one

      Whisteblowers should be sheltered, but always get screwed anyway.

      So based on your own prediction of what would've happened to him, he STILL should've done something different?

      Sounds like you're acknowledging the whistle blowing process doesn't work, yet you're advocating for it anyways. Which really doesn't make any sense. But I'm sure you already know that.

      Just another parrot shouting how great America is, at any cost, including watching their own government lie to them.

      You're a coward.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 12:05pm

      Re: because he wasn't one

      That's not whistleblowing, that's treason

      Listen here fuck stick, Treason has a definition codified in the US Constitution because the Founding Father saw a fuck-stick like you over 200 years into the future.

      Giving any information to the Press is a 1st Amendment Right and nothing trumps it. The most Snowden can be constitutionally harassed with is a civil lawsuit for breaking his contract.

      If he "only" gave the information to a foreign government then you might have a case, but he gave it to the Press instead. This means he is constitutionally untouchable from a criminal perspective.

      Obama and is immigration polices ARE treasonous as his actions DO match the definition of treason according to the constitution. We literally have people standing in the streets of America calling it their enemy, waving a foreign flag and harming American Citizens and Obama admin are letting them go or even giving them benefits. This is de-facto comfort and aid to the "self proclaimed" enemies of America!

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:44pm

      Re: because he wasn't one

      Proper channels! Ding! NSA BINGO!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 11:50am

    What's all this Snowden coverage about?

    National Whistleblower Day is for people who still whistle. I'd argue that maybe flutes (fluters?) would also qualify for coverage.

    It's something this country needs more of (and perhaps some kazoos to accompany them), so I was pleased to read about this formal recognition.

    I'll let myself out.

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

    • identicon
      Quiet Lurcker, 1 Aug 2016 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      We do, kinda. Mozart's b-day, (and now to remove my tongue from my cheek) Quantz' b-day, Bach's b-day, Jethro Tull's b-day......

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Every day is Snowden day, in a better world he would be recognized as a national hero and have the people beg him to be president. In a much, much better world.

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

  • identicon
    bob, 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:36pm

    I sense a movie opportunity.

    I was kind of hoping it would be an amnesty type day where people could say whatever and not be held accountable.

    Or...


    If you are more into horror films this could be the day to hunt and kill all known and suspected whistle-blowers.

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

    • identicon
      David, 1 Aug 2016 @ 2:08pm

      Re: I sense a movie opportunity.

      I was kind of hoping it would be an amnesty type day where people could say whatever and not be held accountable.

      We had a lot of "we did not" statements from government officials that nobody was held accountable for when it turned out that most certainly and wittingly and in breach of their oaths they did.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 3:05pm

    of course he is the anti christ because he exposed the evil, criminal and international crimes the ruling parties of the good old US of A has been committing against the world.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Aug 2016 @ 4:50pm

      Now that I think about it...

      It makes more sense to say Satan / Lucifer / Samael / Beelzebub isn't the elemental spirit of all the world's evil but only revealed plain the evil intrinsic to the world.

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

  • icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), 2 Aug 2016 @ 6:10am

    In related news...

    The admin who wrote the original press release is currently in solitary confinement, and is expected to serve 15 years for publicizing National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 3 Aug 2016 @ 1:26pm

    It's because it was national whistle blower day, not national Data Dumper day. Understanding the difference between the two is really key here.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Copymouse
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.