Why whistleblowers need to supported

Glenn Greenwald says that the recent leaks by whistleblowers are precursors and more ae to come soon. This is excellent news.

Candidate Barack Obama in 2008 praised whistleblowers as providing a valuable service to the country but after being elected has not only not mentioned favorably even a single whisteblower, he has been one of the most vicious presidents on record in persecuting them.

Security expert Bruce Schneier explains why we need whistleblowers now more than ever and why we have to support and protect them from government vengeance and appeals for more of them to come forward.

Knowing how the government spies on us is important. Not only because so much of it is illegal — or, to be as charitable as possible, based on novel interpretations of the law — but because we have a right to know. Democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function properly, and transparency and accountability are essential parts of that. That means knowing what our government is doing to us, in our name. That means knowing that the government is operating within the constraints of the law. Otherwise, we’re living in a police state.
We need whistle-blowers.

Whistle-blowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power. What’s important here are government programs and methods, not data about individuals. I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior. Do it carefully and do it safely, but — and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs — do it.

Of course the director of US national intelligence James Clapper has issued dire warnings that such revelations were “reprehensible”, hurt national security, and cause “irretrievable harm”.

It is always the same story. The government goes to great lengths to keep secret what it is doing, threatens dire consequences if the information is released (which never seems to actually happen), and then says that everything was legal anyway.

The government is making the claim that it has the right to know everything about us but that we have no right to know anything about them. And yet they are supposed to be working for us. That is the Alice in Wonderland world we now live in.


  1. trucreep says

    The G_Man put it really well (as always!) in his latest article:

    “They can threaten to investigate all they want. But as this week makes clear, and will continue to make clear, the ones who will actually be investigated are them.

    The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.”

  2. mobius says

    Yes. Obscurity is transparency. War is peace. Lies are facts.

    Welcome to modern America.

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