Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Government Goes After Alleged Whistle Blower Based On Potential Embarrassment

One of the more flamboyant aspects of the Bradley Manning arrest was the claim that he had leaked to WikiLeaks 250,000 pages of "diplomatic cables." Those were the documents which anonymous government officials pointed to when telling The Daily Beast's Philip Shenon that the leaks "could do serious damage to national security." Most commentary on the Manning case has tacitly assumed that the leaking of "diplomatic cables" would jeopardize national security secrets. But a new BBC article today contains this quote from former UK intelligence analyst Crispin Black:

Diplomatic cables don't usually contain huge secrets but they do contain the unvarnished truth so in a sense they can be even more embarrassing than secrets.

As usual, government concern over leaks is about avoiding embarrassment and other accountability; national security harm is but the fear-mongering excuse. Similarly, a new Washington Post article today details the Obama DOJ's prosecution of NSA whistle blower Thomas Drake, whose disclosures resulted in no claimed national security harm, but rather, was evidence of "waste, mismanagement and a willingness to compromise Americans' privacy without enhancing security" (leaked only after his use of the official channels resulted in nothing, as usual). As is true for virtually every whistle blower prosecution or threatened prosecution, there is no actual national security harm identified from that leak. Other than when a covert agent's identity is blown (as happened to Valerie Plame), has anyone ever heard of any actual, concrete national security harm from any of the high-profile leak cases, whether it be the illegal NSA eavesdropping program, the network of CIA black sites, the release of the Apache helicopter attack video, or the corruption and privacy infringements revealed by Drake?

The very astute Glenn Greenwald. That fear mongering that is ever present in the government's attempts (be it Bush or Obama's group) to keep real facts from the American people.

Ever since 9/11, this has gotten so old. The dismantling of the very freedoms that are part of what is supposed to be truly American are fucked with by the powers in control (both Republicans and Democrats) to suit their agenda - and since "whistle blowing" is in the air, there has to be something that someone is doing that is not good, hence the blown whistle. Now we find out that the things "leaked" were actually more potentially embarrassing to our government than they were of national security concerns.

Typical. Back to the stupid people.

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