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Posted by Tom Devine.
Tom Devine is legal director of the Government Accountability Project, where he has worked to assist thousands of whistleblowers to come forward and has been involved in the all of the campaigns to pass or defend major whistleblower laws over the last two decades.
“Jesselyn Radack, an attorney with the Government Accountability Project who has represented multiple whistleblowers facing federal prosecution, including Edward Snowden, called the judge's sentence the ‘least worst option.’
“But she said Sterling should not have been convicted and should not have been given jail time, given Petraeus' sentence. ‘If you're politically well-connected or powerful, you don't have to worry about being charged with espionage or leaking," she said.’”
Advocates say whistleblowers under fire after former CIA gets 3½ years for Iran-related leaks
U.S. News and World Report
The prosecution of these whistleblowers also threatens freedom of the press. We are now seeing a war on journalists who tell whistleblowers’ stories, which greatly jeopardizes basic communication between journalists and government employees.
“An order from National Intelligence Director James Clapper warned employees of all intelligence agencies not to give any journalist non-classified information without first getting authorization. Such measures are part of a calculated progression that aims—via bureaucratic edicts as well as legal harassment and criminal prosecutions—to normalize an atmosphere of fear and reflexive self-constraint, blocking the unauthorized delivery of information to the public.”
It’s time to start examining the impact of these selective prosecutions on the health of our nation. The New York Times editorial board hits the nail on the head…
“In light of these prosecutions, it is worth considering the degree to which this White House seems to value secrecy over accountability. It fixates on certain leakers, and the reporters they work with, even as it neglects to prosecute anyone for, say, the torture of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere, or for the intentional destruction of videotapes documenting that torture. It pleads with newspapers not to print the name of a senior officer behind the C.I.A.’s interrogation and targeted-killing programs, even as it allowed David Petraeus, the former C.I.A. chief, to plead to a misdemeanor for giving his biographer (and lover) classified information, including the names of covert officers. Mr. Petraeus got probation and a fine.”
Overkill on a C.I.A. Leak Case
New York Times