Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 4 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   14 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Obama Campaign Brags About its Whistleblower Persecutions

By (about the author)     Permalink
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 8   Well Said 8   Valuable 8  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/5/12

Become a Fan
  (110 fans)
Cross-posted from The Guardian

Excuse me if I don't join in Democrats' sycophantic cheerleading for an Obama presidency that has shredded laws and liberties  

House in eastern Yemen destroyed by US drone strike, 2 September 2012
A US drone strike in eastern Yemen on Sunday was claimed by a security official to have killed six suspected Islamist militants. The Yemeni government has contradicted this, saying the intended target was 'completely missed', and 13 civilians were killed instead. Photograph: Reuters

For several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for Democrats, at least for progressives. Daniel Ellsberg has long been viewed by liberals as an American hero for his disclosure of the top secret Pentagon Papers. In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as "acts of courage and patriotism," which "should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration."

President Obama, however, has waged the most aggressive and vindictive assault on whistleblowers of any president in American history, as even political magazines generally supportive of him have recognized and condemned. One might think that, as the party's faithful gather to celebrate the greatness of this leader, this fact would be a minor problem, a source of some tension between Obama and his hardest-core supporters, perhaps even some embarrassment. One would be wrong.

Far from shying away from this record of persecuting whistleblowers, the Obama campaign is proudly boasting of it. A so-called "Truth Team" of the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign issued a document responding to allegations that the Obama White House has leaked classified information in order to glorify the president:

Obama truth squad leaks

Here is what they said:

Obama truth squad leaks

Leave aside that this is a total nonsequitur: the fact that Obama has persecuted whistleblowers hardly negates, or even pertains to, the charge that he has leaked classified information when doing so benefits him politically. Indeed, that's precisely what makes his behavior so pernicious: that his administration exploits secrecy laws to punish those who expose high-level wrongdoing while leaking at will for political gain.

More remarkable is that a Democratic presidential candidate is sticking his chest out and proudly touting that he has tried to imprison more whistleblowers on espionage charges than all previous presidents in history combined: more than the secrecy-loving Bush/Cheney White House, more than the paranoid, leak-hating Nixon administration, more than anyone in American history. Just contrast the script Democrats now read from to the one they pretended to believe in, in 2008; from the Obama/Biden campaign's official Document for Change:

2008 obama whistleblowers

This tracks perfectly with what Mother Jones' Adam Serwer adeptly documented Tuesday is the radical transformation in the Democratic party platform from 2008, when they feigned concern with civil liberties, to the 2012 platform, when Obama's record makes it impossible (and politically unhelpful) to pretend any longer. Rather than object to what Obama is doing with the power he has been vested is the exact opposite of what they claimed they believed four years ago, Democratic loyalists simply shift like the wind as their leader does, without even seeming to recognize that they are doing so.

This is the same mentality that causes Democrats to cheer wildly for their leader the day after things like this happen, as just did on Sunday:

yemen drones

There will be no mention of any of that during the Democratic National Convention this week -- unless it is to cheer for it wildly. Indeed, here's how the Washington Post Wednesday morning characterized the ceremonies taking place right now in North Carolina:

wash post dnc

Democrats will spend the week raucously applauding the violence and killing continuously unleashed by their strong, tough, resolute Democratic president -- whom they'll hail as their "commander-in-chief" whom we're so blessed to be led by, even though most of them are not in the military and therefore, by definition, have no "commander," chief or otherwise. And they will keep cheering for such acts even as the bodies of his latest innocent victims go unburied. And if any of this bothers any of us, we'll be drowned out by stirring and deeply emotional tributes to the kindness and goodness of this great man, which will make all these unpleasant thoughts about the reality of his actions blissfully disappear.

As the Nation's Jeremy Scahill, who has spent considerable time in Yemen with the families of Obama's drone victims, wrote last night on Twitter, as he watched all of this unfold:

scahill tweets dnc

Persecuting and abusing whistleblowers. Indefinitely imprisoning people with no charges. Due process-free assassinations of citizens, even teenagers. Continuous killings of innocent people in multiple Muslim countries.

This isn't just what Democrats do. It's what they now boast about, what they campaign on, what they  celebrate. That, as much as anything, is the Obama legacy.

 

For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

US investigates possible WikiLeaks leaker for "communicating with the enemy"

Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control

The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness"

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

The Remarkable, Unfathomable Ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 14 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Most of Op Ed is devoted to why we must reelect th... by Miriam Callaghan on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 5:20:06 PM
When has Romney told the truth? Or Ryan? Maybe whe... by Dennis Kaiser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 5:05:28 PM
I ´d like to see the democrats and Obama-fans try... by Paul Sedkowski on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 5:34:30 PM
I am so tired of Democrats and Republicans.  ... by Don Caldarazzo on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 7:34:37 PM
Good one, Don. The fact that we no longer have pub... by SwamperTom on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 9:05:05 PM
I don't watch it, maybe once every two weeks. &nbs... by Don Caldarazzo on Sunday, Sep 9, 2012 at 9:50:39 AM
It's amazing how thin the veil is. Once you pull b... by SwamperTom on Sunday, Sep 9, 2012 at 11:39:29 AM
While I do not like most of what is going on to ou... by Dennis Kaiser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 5:11:44 PM
This morning on his radio show he completely shut ... by 911TRUTH on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 12:50:10 AM
We have actually lost our Democracy and the Corpor... by Dennis Kaiser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 5:23:37 PM
If you are still voting Republican or Democrat, yo... by Rudy Avizius on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 8:50:24 AM
There are days when I fear that is exactly what pe... by Marika on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 9:24:08 AM
If we can place enough greens in the Congress to... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 1:39:37 PM
Glenn Greenwald will be 'disappeared'.   He... by Ned Lud on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 7:19:07 AM