Obama’s War On Whistleblowers “Goes To Eleven”

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The Washington Post notes that the Obama administration is squeezing current and former federal officials to find out who talked to The New York Post about Stuxnet.

Federal investigators looking into disclosures of classified information about a cyberoperation that targeted Iran’s nuclear program have increased pressure on current and former senior government officials suspected of involvement, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry, which was started by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last June, is examining leaks about a computer virus developed jointly by the United States and Israel that damaged nuclear centrifuges at Iran’s primary uranium enrichment plant. The U.S. code name for the operation was Olympic Games, but the wider world knew the mysterious computer worm as Stuxnet.

Prosecutors are pursuing “everybody — at pretty high levels, too,” said one person familiar with the investigation. “There are many people who’ve been contacted from different agencies.”

The FBI and prosecutors have interviewed several current and former senior government officials in connection with the disclosures, sometimes confronting them with evidence of contact with journalists, according to people familiar with the probe. Investigators, they said, have conducted extensive analysis of the e-mail accounts and phone records of current and former government officials in a search for links to journalists.

At the time I was of the opinion that it was someone from the Obama administration (as opposed to a former Bush official) who couldn’t contain their enthusiasm to tell someone about the really cool thing they’d done. Maybe that’s the case, maybe it’s not, but what is true is that the Obama folks are big believers in leaking information to the press, as even progressives such as Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian note:

Like all of the Obama leak prosecutions – see here – none of those revelations resulted in any tangible harm, yet all revealed vital information about what our government was doing in secret. As long-time DC lawyer Abbe Lowell, who represents indicted whistleblower Stephen Kim, put it: what makes the Obama DOJ’s prosecutions historically unique is that they “don’t distinguish between bad people – people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money – and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions”. Not only doesn’t it draw this distinction, but it is focused almost entirely on those who leak in order to expose wrongdoing and bring about transparency and accountability.

That is the primary impact of all of this. A Bloomberg report last October on this intimidation campaign summarized the objections this way: “the president’s crackdown chills dissent, curtails a free press and betrays Obama’s initial promise to ‘usher in a new era of open government.’”

The Obama administration does not dislike leaks of classified information. To the contrary, it is a prolific exploiter of exactly those types of leaks – when they can be used to propagandize the citizenry to glorify the president’s image as a tough guy, advance his political goals or produce a multi-million-dollar Hollywood film about his greatest conquest. Leaks are only objectionable when they undercut that propaganda by exposing government deceit, corruption and illegality.

…This Obama whistleblower war has nothing to do with national security. It has nothing to do with punishing those who harm the country with espionage or treason.

It has everything to do with destroying those who expose high-level government wrongdoing. It is particularly devoted to preserving the government’s ability to abuse its power in secret by intimidating and deterring future acts of whistleblowing and impeding investigative journalism. This Obama whistleblower war continues to escalate because it triggers no objections from Republicans (who always adore government secrecy) or Democrats (who always adore what Obama does), but most of all because it triggers so few objections from media outlets, which – at least in theory – suffer the most from what is being done.

Obama’s lapdog media are well-trained and properly muzzled – they wouldn’t think of complaining or asking hard questions. Don’t take my word for that, ask 60 Minute’ Steve Croft.

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Posted by on January 30, 2013.
Filed under Barack Obama.
Doug Johnson is a news junkie and long time blog reader, turned author.

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  • MartinLandauCalrissian

    But… but… transparency… and junk.

  • herddog505

    Sorry, but if Barry’s minions are on the hunt for somebody who’s been leaking classified national defense info, then they have my best wishes that they catch the son of a b*tch and put him (or her) in SuperMax for the rest of his miserable, traitorous life.

    • LiberalNightmare

      If the democrats think someones a traitor, they must be one incredibly traitorous sumbitch indeed.

      • herddog505

        They are by way of being experts.

      • jim_m

        The left defines a traitor as someone who makes obama look bad, not as someone who betrays the United States and endangers its people.

        . Leaks are only objectionable when they undercut that propaganda by exposing government deceit, corruption and illegality.

        Exactly. obama doesn’t care how many Americans die. Look at Benghazi. It is people that make obama look bad that incur his wrath.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

        dhimmocrats only care about treason against their Party.

        • jim_m

          There is no other treason. Their loyalty is to ideology and not to people or country.

        • herddog505

          I don’t say no to that, but this is something of a Venn diagram: traitors to the United States (which I care deeply about) overlap with traitors to the dems.* If the dems are after people who have committed a crime against the United States, that’s fine with me. I’m not too concerned with their motives.
          ====
          (*) It IS an unusual case, I admit. It is far more usual for democrats to celebrate traitors: Ellsberg, Manning, etc.

    • Commander_Chico

      I mostly agree. A whistleblower is someone who is exposing illegal activities by the government, even if classified.

      Someone who is just dumping classified material in public is a traitor.

      You can argue about what is illegal, but not many would disagree about the exposure of a program to, say, infect people with a deadly virus as a test, even if it had the highest classification.

      I would include electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant among illegal actions, along with the torture program.

      The oath is to the Constitution, not your boss, your branch, your agency, or the President.

      On the other hand, if you’re just dumping loads of classified information out there like Bradley Manning, you need to be punished. It was good people saw that video from the Apache, though. Americans should know something about what is being done in their name.

      • herddog505

        Maybe, maybe not. Should Americans have seen the stacks of incinerated bodies in air raid shelters in Hamburg or Tokyo?

        • Commander_Chico

          Yes. I always have faith in the people. At that time they would have understood where we were.

          • herddog505

            That’s probably true. On the other hand, they didn’t have lefties and MiniTru (BIRM) leaping at the opportunity to claim that roasting entire German and Japanese cities were “war crimes” or that we were “inflaming the Axis world against us”.

          • Commander_Chico

            Well, strictly speaking they were war crimes. There’s a lot of question whether a lot of the bombing was militarily effective.

    • JWH

      On this one, I’m with herddog. I don’t blame the media for going after the Stuxnet story. It was a big one. But whoever decided to talk to the media as an “anonymous source” about Stuxnet ought to have his clearance yanked, at the very least.

      The real problem, IMO, is not even the disclosure of the secret. It’s that by going on the record, even anonymously, the source gave Iran something that it could point to as a cassus belli if it decided to take action against Israel or the United States.

      As long as tying Stuxnet to Israel and the United States was a matter of private security consultants saying, “Yeah, it looks like Mossad and NSA were working together,” the United States and Israel had plausible deniability. Well, maybe not plausible, but enough that the two countries could maintain the diplomatic fiction that they were shocked, SHOCKED! that somebody would use computers in such a way.

      ==============

      (And, yes, I am aware that Iran would attack without even the sliver of a cassus belli if they wanted to. Doesn’t mean we should give them the excuse).

    • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

      Look no further – than Barry himself – now let’s put that sumbitch in
      SuperMax for the rest of his miserable, traitorous life, along with Holder, the rest of the MB gangsters. All this is going to turn out quite different than BHO thinks, he is hemming himself in a corner where there will be no one to blame but himself, just a matter of time. All it takes is to overcome evil with good!

  • GarandFan

    On the other hand, the ‘search’ for who revealed Stuxnet might be nothing more than a ploy to cover for someone in the White House who did reveal it. HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!

  • ackwired

    I think there will be an interesting movie in about 20 years about all of the things that we are doing to Iran.

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  • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

    BTW there is no honor among theives, traitors, and such like. Barry of all people should know that. If he doesn’t – HE WILL. . . LMAO