Corporate Democrats and Republicans Persecute Whistleblowers

In an interview with The Real News, Norman Solomon tells Paul Jay that when it comes to defending the deep state, there’s really no difference between the two parties.

Reality Winner is a Whistleblower

Reality Winner, the 25-year-old Air Force veteran and NSA contractor charged with mailing classified material to a news outlet, is a classic whistleblower. She hasn’t claimed that mantle, which is understandable given America’s love-hate relationship with whistleblowers. They are alternately celebrated and denounced, depending on who has the microphone and who has the power.

Should Journalists Care If Sources Go Off to Prison?

In view of recent events, ExposeFacts is reposting this article that the Columbia Journalism Review published on Feb. 5, 2016.

By Norman Solomon

Ask yourself this question: Is it sufficient to protect journalists who report classified information while sources go off to prison?

During the last half decade, a growing roster of national-security reporters has withstood government pressure to reveal confidential sources. They’ve done so with the steady support of news organizations and well-heeled groups that work to protect journalists from threats of jail. Yet those media outfits show scant interest in advocating for the whistleblowers who put themselves at risk. If they go to prison, c’est la vie.

Former NSA executive: Agency used ‘blanket’ surveillance during 2002 Olympics

Washington Post – Former National Security Agency senior executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake revealed himself this week as the source for a lawsuit alleging the NSA conducted “blanket, indiscriminate surveillance” of Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In a declaration filed in discovery in the case in U.S. district court in Utah, Drake asserted the NSA, in coordination with the FBI, scooped up and stored the content of emails and text messages sent and received by anyone in the city and Olympic venues — including American citizens.

Killer Drones in the Empire State

By Norman Solomon

At dusk I stood on a residential street with trim lawns and watched planes approach a runaway along the other side of a chain-link fence. Just a few dozen yards away, a JetBlue airliner landed. Then a United plane followed. But the next aircraft looked different. It was a bit smaller and had no markings or taillights. A propeller whirled at the back. And instead of the high-pitched screech of a jet, the sound was more like… a drone.

What Have We Done: Executive Power, Drones, and Trump?

by Jesselyn Radack

The news is rife with President Trump’s threatened and actual military misadventures: in Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. But these military actions take on a new gravity considering the vast and secret powers Trump inherited.

Former President Obama escalated the use of drone strikes—including in non-battlefield arenas such as Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen—so it is no surprise that President Trump has continued with abandon. While Obama put some constraints on drones, Trump gave the secretive, unaccountable CIA new authority to conduct drone strikes against “suspected militants.”

Muslims inside FBI describe culture of suspicion and fear: ‘It is cancer’

By Spencer Ackerman | The Guardian

Muslim special agents and intelligence analysts at the FBI are reporting a climate of fear inside the agency coinciding with the political ascendance of Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned.

FBI officials from Muslim-majority countries, a minority in a predominantly white bureau, say they are subject to an organizational culture of suspicion and hostility that leadership has done little to reform. At least one decorated intelligence analyst has been fired this year after a long ordeal which began with a routine foreign visit to see his family.

Is the Vault 7 Source a Whistleblower?

It is the leakiest of times in the Executive Branch. Last week, Wikileaks published a massive and, by all accounts genuine, trove of documents revealing that the CIA has been stockpiling, and lost control of, hacking tools it uses against targets. Particularly noteworthy were the revelations that the CIA developed a tool to hack Samsung TVs and turn them into recording devices and that the CIA worked to infiltrate both Apple and Google smart phone operating systems since it could not break encryption. No one in government has challenged the authenticity of the documents disclosed.

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, asks: Who will be the next Snowden?

By Margaret Sullivan | WaPo

The most dangerous man in America is asking to borrow my scarf.

I’ve known Daniel Ellsberg for only five minutes, but, curious, I unwind it from my neck and give it over. One-handed, with a flick of his wrist, the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower produces an elegant knot. With another flick, the knot disappears.

Not a bad feat, though it hardly measures up to his copying and leaking thousands of pages of classified documents on the Vietnam War to the New York Times — an act that eventually changed the course of history.

When It’s Time to Blow the Whistle

By PETER VAN BUREN | NY Times

“The spotlight has finally been put on the lowlife leakers! They will be caught!” So tweeted President Trump on Thursday morning after a week when his administration had been shaken by reports based on information from anonymous sources inside the government and intelligence agencies. On Monday, such revelations had led to the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser.

Further reports about repeated contacts between members of the Trump campaign team and Russian officials also caused the president to reverse his pre-election stance — “I love WikiLeaks!” — and issue tirades against “illegal” leaks and the “criminal action” of leakers. It’s no surprise that Mr. Trump, in office, wants to stem this flow with threatened retaliation, but if you’re a government employee who knows something, what are you thinking?