Let’s crank up the Wayback Machine to 2008 and see what President-elect Barack Obama promised us about whistleblowers. What you are about to witness is a collection of words from the most gullible among us- the left wing MSM.
From Rick Piltz
The Obama-Biden transition website says: “Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out…. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance.” This is a critical area for the new administration to make good on its promise.
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
Joe Davidson at WaPo
Whistleblowers May Have Friend in Oval Office
While Barack Obama’s election victory led millions of Americans to cheer and shout, a much smaller group of government watchers had reason to blow their whistles.
Whistleblowers in the federal government and those who work to protect them see a longtime friend in the next president.
“Attorney Obama and Senator Obama and candidate Obama and President-elect Obama have all supported whistleblower rights,” said Adam Miles, the legislative representative for the Government Accountability Project, a public interest group that bills itself as the nation’s leading whistleblower organization.
Obama’s whistleblower trail starts before his days in public office.
When Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s incoming chief of staff, was a congressman, his office released a list of government workers who “lost their jobs in the Bush administration for telling the truth.”
An Emanuel press release said “one of our most important weapons against waste, fraud and abuse . . . is federal whistleblower protections.”
Will Barack Obama, a champion of whistleblower protection when he was a state senator, act as strongly to protect them when they blow the whistle on his administration?
Whistleblowers tell ABC News they are encouraged by recent signs from the White House about possible efforts to protect them from retaliation. But, they say, they are still wary after years of brutal confrontations that left many of them jobless, financially drained and emotionally spent.
Late last week, President Obama appointed two individuals to the Merit Systems Protection Board, an administrative panel that hears employment appeals from federal employees, including cases that fall under the recently-passed Whistleblowers Protection Enhancement Act of 2009.
The picks – Susan Grundmann, general counsel for the National Federation of Federal Employees, and Anne Wagner, general counsel for the Personal Appeals Board of the U.S. Government Accountability Office – were hailed by whistleblowers and watchdog groups as a first step in overhauling federal whistleblower protection laws.
“Unlike Bush administration appointees who compiled a 1-44 track record against whistleblowers, these leaders are seasoned veterans with a proven track record of commitment to the merit system throughout their careers,” said Tom Devine, legal director of the nonprofit public interest group Government Accountability Project.
Devine called the appointments “a weathervane that the Obama Administration is serious about its good government rhetoric.”
It will surprise only liberals to learn that this, as with so many other Obama promises, has gone straight down the memory hole. The reality?
This is not your father’s hope and change. You elected a fraud. This is the real Barack Obama.
Few people are more disturbed about Drake’s prosecution than the others who spoke out against the N.S.A. surveillance program. In 2008, Thomas Tamm, a Justice Department lawyer, revealed that he was one of the people who leaked to the Times. He says of Obama, “It’s so disappointing from someone who was a constitutional-law professor, and who made all those campaign promises.” The Justice Department recently confirmed that it won’t pursue charges against Tamm. Speaking before Congress, Attorney General Holder explained that “there is a balancing that has to be done . . . between what our national-security interests are and what might be gained by prosecuting a particular individual.” The decision provoked strong criticism from Republicans, underscoring the political pressures that the Justice Department faces when it backs off such prosecutions. Still, Tamm questions why the Drake case is proceeding, given that Drake never revealed anything as sensitive as what appeared in the Times. “The program he talked to the Baltimore Sun about was a failure and wasted billions of dollars,” Tamm says. “It’s embarrassing to the N.S.A., but it’s not giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
Mark Klein, the former A.T. & T. employee who exposed the telecom-company wiretaps, is also dismayed by the Drake case. “I think it’s outrageous,” he says. “The Bush people have been let off. The telecom companies got immunity. The only people Obama has prosecuted are the whistle-blowers.”
And that’s to say nothing of the full-scale immunity also given thus far to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill, and the mortgage fraudsters who have essentially stolen people’s homes. About what motivates Obama’s conduct — his virtually complete reversal from the campaign pledges — Drake offers this speculation:
“I actually had hopes for Obama,” he said. He had not only expected the President to roll back the prosecutions launched by the Bush Administration; he had thought that Bush Administration officials would be investigated for overstepping the law in the “war on terror.”
“But power is incredibly destructive,” Drake said. “It’s a weird, pathological thing. I also think the intelligence community coöpted Obama, because he’s rather naïve about national security. He’s accepted the fear and secrecy. We’re in a scary space in this country.”
The Justice Department’s subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen Monday was the latest sign of how aggressive the Obama administration is being in its campaign against government whistle-blowers. The purpose of Risen’s subpoena is to force him to testify that Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent, gave him confidential information about the CIA’s efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The extent to which the administration is prosecuting leakers has troubled those who see leakers as speakers of truth to power. “In President Obama’s 26 months in office, civilian and military prosecutors have charged five people in cases involving leaking information, more than all previous presidents combined,” reports the Times. Here’s a list of prominent leakers with various agendas currently under pressure from the government.
This is a chilling little speech by Jesselyn Radick, a Bush administration whistleblower who was harassed aggressively by the Department of Justice, on how matters have gotten much worse for government whistleblowers under Obama, both in numbers and the ferocity of the retaliation.
The Obama administration has already charged more people — six — under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. (Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history.)
Kiriakou, in particular, is accused of giving information about the CIA’s torture programs to reporters two years ago. Like the other five whistleblowers, he has been charged under the draconian World War I-era Espionage Act.
That Act has a sordid history, having once been used against the government’s political opponents. Targets included labor leaders and radicals like Eugene V. Debs, Bill Haywood, Philip Randolph, Victor Berger, John Reed, Max Eastman and Emma Goldman. Debs, a union leader and socialist candidate for the presidency, was, in fact, sentenced to 10 years in jail for a speech attacking the Espionage Act itself. The Nixon administration infamously (and unsuccessfully) invoked the Act to bar the New York Times from continuing to publish the classified Pentagon Papers.
Yet, extreme as use of the Espionage Act against government insiders and whistleblowers may be, it’s only one part of the Obama administration’s attempt to sideline, if not always put away, those it wants to silence. Increasingly, federal agencies or departments intent on punishing a whistleblower are also resorting to extra-legal means. They are, for instance, manipulating personnel rules that cannot be easily challenged and do not require the production of evidence. And sometimes, they are moving beyond traditional notions of “punishment” and simply seeking to destroy the lives of those who dissent.
The use of the Espionage Act to go after individuals who have shared information with journalists or media organizations is a stunning attack on speech and press freedom. It is a calculated effort to make an example out of these individuals so that current and former employees do not get in the way of the work of agencies or departments in the US government. But, more importantly, this is where the Obama Justice Department is investing resources.
Has the Justice Department prosecuted bank executives that engaged in massive fraud that helped create the economic collapse in 2008? Are they investing resources and taking risks to get these individuals? What about the people who committed war crimes, like torture? Is the Department going after these individuals or are they just interested in the people who blew the whistle on war crimes, including torture? Are Justice Department employees focused on ensuring there is no challenge by former government employees to the national security industrial complex of America?
The Obama Administration will spend capital to push the limits for prosecutions under the Espionage Act. It won’t spend capital to push the limits for prosecutions of people who violated the Convention Against Torture or other treaties and legislation, which prohibits the cruel and inhuman treatment of individuals detained and interrogated in prison.
Here is the simple reality of our moment: the president has definitively declared himself (and his advisors and those who carry out his orders) above the law, both statutory and moral. It is now for him and him alone to decide who will live and who will die under the drones, for him to reward media outlets with inside information or smack journalists who disturb him and his colleagues with subpoenas, and worst of all, to decide all by himself what is right and what is wrong.
The image Obama holds of himself, and the one his people have been aggressively promoting recently is of a righteous killer, ready to bloody his hands to smite “terrorists” and whistleblowers equally. If that sounds Biblical, it should. If it sounds full of unnerving pride, it should as well. If this is where a nation of laws ends up, you should be afraid.
Senator Grassley then pointed out that the first whistleblower to come forward about Fast and Furious (ATF Agent John Dodson) had recently been attacked by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). According to Senator Grassley, “Someone in the Justice Department leaked a document to the press along with talking points in an attempt to smear [Dodson.]” The letter insinuated that Dodson went rogue and started a gun-walking operation on his own. This was easy to prove false; however, if Republicans hadn’t taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 election (meaning an opposing political party wouldn’t have had the power to do an investigation) then Dodson would have been left dangling in these political winds, as records giving the complete picture would likely not have been available.
Senator Grassley pointed out that the documents DOJ released to smear Dodson were actually supposed to be so sensitive that the DOJ wouldn’t provide them to congressional investigators. But then, to harm a whistleblower, someone from the DOJ provided these specifically selected documents to the press. In fact, the name of the criminal suspect in the documents was redacted, but Agent Dodson’s name was left for all to see. “This looks like a clear and intentional violation of the Privacy Act as well as an attempt at whistleblower retaliation,” said Grassley.
If this isn’t enough to stop you from voting for Obama again, you don’t deserve to vote because you are a complete idiot.
Gitmo is still open, rendition lives, warrantless wiretapping goes on with Obama and Holder as its new defenders. Obama personally oversees assassinations and has ordered Americans killed. Obama is indeed different from Bush. He’s far worse.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice or more, I am a liberal.