Trump Fumes Over ‘Criminal’ Leaks as Culprits Risk Harsh Penalties

Whoever is responsible should lawyer up, use encryption, avoid lying to FBI and talk with their family, whistleblower defenders says.

President Donald Trump is decrying a stream of leaks that have led to embarrassing stories about his talks with foreign leaders and that this week forced Michael Flynn to resign his job as national security adviser – and experts say the sources are in legal peril.

Addressing the leaks about Flynn, Trump said at a Wednesday press conference that information was “illegally – I stress that, illegally – leaked” and said “it’s a criminal act and it’s been going on for a long time, before me, but now it’s really going on.”

Alternative “Facts”

by Jesselyn Radack

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, famously coined the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts” when pressed about flat out lies told the previous day by White House press secretary Sean Spicer regarding the crowd size at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The dictionary definition of a “fact” is a piece of information presented as having an objective reality. Accordingly, the term “alternative fact” is itself is an oxymoron. A fact is both indisputable and immutable. Having “alternatives” to a fact undermines its very meaning.

Of Scarecrows and Whistleblowers

By Jeffrey Sterling

I find myself doing a lot of reading in prison of late, and one article in particular caught my attention. It speaks to many issues that are indicative of my being in prison. The article is “The Outside Man” and in it, Malcolm Gladwell muses over the differences between Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. From my “inside” perspective, the distinctions Mr. Gladwell makes and the justifications for doing so are troubling. Mr. Gladwell’s perspective espouses a form of “good government” that the Bard warns against in typical Shakespearean eloquence and ageless wisdom:

“We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.”

CIA Poised To Crack Down on Whistleblowers If Torture Program Restored

Newly confirmed CIA director Mike Pompeo informed United States senators he would “aggressively seek to ensure we have the most effective programs for identifying insider threats.” It was a pledge to pursue the same anti-leaks policies that discourage whistleblowing that President Barack Obama’s administration pursued.

Obama’s Legacy: A Historic War On Whistleblowers

As President Barack Obama soared into office eight years ago, he promised, on his first day in the White House, to launch “a new era of open government.”

“The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears,” Obama said in a Jan. 21, 2009 memorandum.

Obama was urging the attorney general to issue new guidelines protecting The Freedom of Information Act. “In the face of doubt,” Obama proclaimed, “openness prevails.”

Liberate the Whistleblowers Now

If one truly believes in American values, then one must also agree that Whistleblowers must be liberated, and freed immediately from earthly bondage, whether it be prison, home incarceration, vindictive prosecution/persecution by politically motivated government officials, disenfranchisement from voting or working, and all around pariah status in the United States, and in the rest of the world.

Not every individual who leaks or pilfers confidential information to reveal it to third parties can be considered a whistleblower, however.

If Donald Trump Targets Journalists, Thank Obama

By James Risen

WASHINGTON — If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump made his animus toward the news media clear during the presidential campaign, often expressing his disgust with coverage through Twitter or in diatribes at rallies. So if his campaign is any guide, Mr. Trump seems likely to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers that is an important yet little understood component of Mr. Obama’s presidential legacy.

The Global Assassination Grid

The Infrastructure and People behind Drone Killings
Cian Westmoreland

NSA Watchdog Removed for Whistleblower Retaliation

Top NSA Watchdog Who Insisted Snowden Should Have Come to Him Receives Termination Notice for Retaliating Against a Whistleblower

Until just a few months ago, George Ellard occupied a position of trust as top watchdog of the National Security Agency, America’s principal collector of signals intelligence. Ellard was not only NSA’s Inspector General, but an outspoken critic of Edward Snowden, the former contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified emails to publicly expose the agency’s domestic surveillance program.

Government Watchdog Conducting New Investigation Into Pentagon Whistleblower Retaliation

The watchdog wing of Congress has quietly launched an investigation into the “integrity” of the Pentagon’s whistleblower protection program. The previously unreported investigation, started in late October, expands on an ongoing effort by the Department of Justice on this same issue.

The Government Accountability Office, which serves as the investigative arm of Congress, has been looking into the extent to which Department of Defense whistleblower policies “meet executive branch policies and goals,” reassure employees of their rights to raise concerns “without fear of reprisal,” and require officials to report to Congress, among several other areas of concern.