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Secrecy and National Security Whistleblowing

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(i) Legislated inclusion in all secrecy agreements, at every level of secrecy: "I understand that nothing in this agreement obliges me or permits me to give false or misleading testimony to a committee of Congress or a court, or in particular to commit perjury under oath." ix

(j) Required briefing of all federal employees, military officers and members of Congress on the operational implications of the Oath of Office they all take, to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States," with focus on the potential conflicts they may face between this overriding oath and their superiors' and their own understanding of the requirements of secrecy agreements and obedience to orders.

(k) To the same end: reinstate the Federal Code of Ethics legislated in 1958 and brief all federal employees on its first two paragraphs in particular: x

"Any person in Government service should:

1. Put loyalty to the highest moral principals and to country above loyalty to Government persons, party, or department.

2. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion."


There have been as many indictments for leaks during President Obama's first twenty months as under all previous presidents combined: a small number, three. The prosecution of Tony Russo and myself by President Nixon, 1971-73 was the first ever, ending with dismissal of charges on grounds of governmental misconduct. Two other presidents each brought one case: Samuel Loring Morison in 1984 under Reagan, the one person so far convicted of unauthorized disclosure by a jury; Larry Franklin (who pled guilty), Keith Rosen and Steve Weissman of AIPAC in 2005 under George W. Bush, prosecution dropped by Obama in 2010.

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Obama so far [as of 9-17-10, when this was first published] has brought three indictments, two of which have been for acts committed under the previous administration which the Bush DOJ had not indicted: Thomas Drake, for leaks on NSA waste (trial pending) and Shamai Leibowitz (guilty plea). The third is that of Bradley Manning, accused in military court of leaking the Apache helicopter attack video and possibly a large number of classified cables and reports to Wikileaks.

[Note 12-28-12: The number of indictments for leaking brought by President Obama is now seven (with another grand jury sitting evidently targeted on Julian Assange and others associated with Wikileaks: perhaps having arrived at a sealed indictment): more than twice as many as all other presidents combined. The last four were for Jeffrey Sterling, Steven Kim, John Kiriakou, and James Hitselberger (charged with possession of classified documents).]

On the legal context in which there have been so few cases brought (with one jury conviction) prior to 2009--thanks to our First Amendment, we have, as yet, no British-type Official Secrets Act explicitly criminalizing all unauthorized disclosures of classified information--see the references in end-note viii below.

ii. On the nature of clearances and classifications that are effectively higher than top secret, see end-notes v and vi below.

iii. The Sunday Times, February 25, 2006: "Induction into the Mafia's code of silence, or omert-, was graphically detailed in court this week by Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo. ...
"DiLeonardo broke his pledge of omert- in a fourth mob case by testifying against his former best friend, John Gotti Jr. DiLeonardo said that he vomited every time he strapped on his hidden recording device.

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"I was completely distraught," he told the court. "Confused. Riddled with guilt. Breaking every code I knew." He said that he considered suicide. "I started to think about history," he said. "Maybe dying like a good soldier. Thinking about the Romans. Drink a little wine, slit your wrists."

iv. See Daniel Ellsberg, The Next War, Harper's, October, 2006,

v. See Daniel Ellsberg, "U.S. Nuclear Planning for a Hundred Holocausts," click here; and Daniel Ellsberg, "Roots of the Upcoming Nuclear Crisis (or, Dr. Strangelove Lives: How Those Who Do Not Love the Bomb Should Learn to Start Worrying),"

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Daniel Ellsberg is a former US military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, which revealed how the US public had been misled about the Vietnam war

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succeeded in turning this country into a fascist b... by intotheabyss on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:24:41 AM