from the papers-blazing dept
We’ve written plenty about the ridiculous government case against whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed waste and fraud at the NSA, only to find himself charged under the Espionage Act as a spy, because he had kept a few documents on his computer that shouldn’t have been there. While the government case completely fell apart (and ended with Drake agreeing to a plea that basically admitted the government had no case), it’s nice to see that the vindictive nature of the feds using the Espionage Act against whistleblowers has been getting more mainstream attention.
The latest? The Daily Show, which did a hilarious interview with Drake, complete with Jason Jones’ attempt to turn his story into a spy thriller movie, only to be disappointed by the lack of anything remotely spy-like happening (and, yes, I know, non-US viewers can’t see this, blame Viacom):
Unfortunately, what the story does not cover, is that the feds have continued to go after whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. The Obama administration has now done that six times, including against the CIA agent who blew the whistle on waterboarding. Prior to this administration, the Espionage Act had been used only three times. In other words, he’s doubled the use of the act of all previous Presidents. For a President who campaigned on civil liberties issues, and whose first day in the office included a memo in support of whistleblowing, this is beyond depressing. It’s good to see more mainstream press coverage, but they need to know it didn’t end with Thomas Drake.