Tag Archives | Whistleblowers
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin breaks down the latest surveillance scandal by the National Security Agency, in which the servers of firms such as Google, Facebook, and Apple are subject to constant government surveillance.
OK, there are other whistleblowers who might claim the crown, perhaps Daniel Ellsberg (The Pentagon Papers), Jeffrey Wigand (tobacco industry), Karen Silkwood (power plant health and safety procedures), or Mark Felt (Watergate), but Edward Snowden is going to be right up there, having revealed the NSA’s mammoth cybersnooping. He asked the newspaper that broke the story, The Guardian, to make his identity public, perhaps to prevent his being “disappeared”:
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The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.
The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity.
A blogger at The New Yorker, Amy Davidson, raised a pair of big questions that now loom over the courtroom at Fort Meade and over the entire country:
* “Would it aid the enemy, for example, to expose war crimes committed by American forces or lies told by the American government?”
* “In that case, who is aiding the enemy — the whistleblower or the perpetrators themselves?”
When the deceptive operation of the warfare state can’t stand the light of day, truth-tellers are a constant hazard. And culpability must stay turned on its head.
That’s why accountability was upside-down when the U.S. Army prosecutor laid out the government’s case against Bradley Manning in an opening statement: “This is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents and dumped them onto the Internet, into the hands of the enemy — material he knew, based on his training, would put the lives of fellow soldiers at risk.”
If so, those fellow soldiers have all been notably lucky; the Pentagon has admitted that none died as a result of Manning’s leaks in 2010.… Read the rest
A great many people around the county were rightfully shocked and horrified by the recent excellent and hard-hitting PBS documentary, The Untouchables, which looked at the problem of high-ranking Wall Street crooks going unpunished in the wake of the financial crisis. The PBS piece certainly rattled some cages, particularly in Washington, in a way that few media efforts succeed in doing. Now, two very interesting and upsetting footnotes to that groundbreaking documentary have emerged in the last weeks. The first involves one of the people interviewed for the story, a former high-ranking executive from Countrywide financial who turned whistleblower named Michael Winston...
Bradley Manning is arguably one of the most important figures to emerge on the political landscape this century, both to those who admire his ‘bravery’ and to those who despise his ‘treachery’.
Manning has been accused of leaking over 250,000 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and approximately 500,000 army reports, as well as secret videos of air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which journalists and civilians, mainly women and children, were shown being massacred by the U.S. military. These leaks have been dubbed Cablegate (referring to the diplomatic cables), and the Iraq War logs and the Afghan War Diary (referring to the army reports). The consequences of these leaked documents has been profound:
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“The material that Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked has highlighted astonishing examples of U.S. subversion of the democratic process around the world, systematic evasion of accountability for atrocities and killings, and many other abuses.
The parties and their factions live not only in parallel universes but worlds of information that are driven mostly but what they think will work in pandering to their bases and the public.
Even as progressives complain that Barack Obama has moved right even if he occasionally talks left, the hard-core right-wing see him a black revolutionary shaped by Reverend Wright’s black liberation theology with allusions to Malcolm X and Kenyan communists thrown into the mix to “prove” their case.
Never mind that Obama threw his one time mentor Wright under the bus in 2008, or that his policies rarely speak of the needs of a black community suffering under the burden of high joblessness, foreclosures and growing poverty.
In fact, real black revolutionaries like Cornel West and so many others find the president a sell-out and embarrassment even if their community embraces him more as an identity issue or on the basis of shared pigmentation,
The recent plan by Wall Street trader Ed Ricketts to recycle the alleged Obama-Wright conspiracy into an defamatory political ad campaign spoke more to his ignorance and fears than any truth-based assessment.… Read the rest