Power of Story Send a Tweet        

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 6 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (7 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   8 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

What Clinton Got Wrong About Snowden

By       Message John Kiriakou       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Supported 9   Well Said 8   Must Read 7  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 10/21/15

Author 503310
Become a Fan
  (30 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Other Words

The former secretary of state attacked the NSA whistleblower without bothering to get her facts straight.

From flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/9247530743/: Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

Hillary Clinton is wrong about Edward Snowden. Again.

The presidential candidate and former secretary of state insisted during the recent Democratic debate that Snowden should have remained in the United States to voice his concerns about government spying on U.S. citizens. Instead, she claimed, he "endangered U.S. secrets by fleeing to Russia."

After accusing Snowden of stealing "very important information that has fallen into the wrong hands," she added: "He should not be brought home without facing the music."

- Advertisement -

Clinton should stop rooting for Snowden's incarceration and get her facts straight.

First, Snowden is a whistleblower, not a leaker. Whistleblowing is the act of bringing to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, law-breaking, or dangers to public health or safety. Snowden did exactly that when he divulged proof that the National Security Agency was illegally snooping on all of us.

Second, Snowden knew it was impossible to report this wrongdoing through his chain of command at the NSA, where he was working as a contractor employed by the consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton.


(Image by Michael Fleshman / Flickr)   Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

I've written previously about whistleblower Tom Drake, who went through his own chain of command to report an earlier illegal wiretapping scheme by the NSA. Drake went to his bosses, his office's general counsel, the NSA's inspector general, the Pentagon's inspector general, and congressional oversight committees -- only to be charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage.

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who reported wrongdoing in a CIA operation related to the Iranian nuclear program through his chain of command, was similarly charged with multiple counts of espionage. Now he's serving 42 months in prison.

The sad fact is that many national security chains of command are overtly hostile to people who report wrongdoing. I learned this firsthand when I spent nearly two years behind bars for denouncing the CIA's use of torture years after I left the agency. And I didn't go to any country club. I went to a real prison.

Indeed, one of my former supervisors at the CIA called whistleblowing "institutionalized insubordination." In other words, employees should just "follow orders," even if those orders are illegal.

Didn't Nazi war criminals say that they were just following orders, too? To me, their compliance was criminal.

Third, Clinton claimed that Snowden would have enjoyed protection from the Whistleblower Protection Act if he'd remained in the United States to make his revelations.

I'm disappointed, frankly, that somebody running for president of the United States doesn't know that the Whistleblower Protection Act exempts national security whistleblowers. There are no protections for you if you work for the CIA, NSA, or other federal intelligence agencies -- or serve them as a contractor. You take a grave personal risk if you decide to report wrongdoing, and there's nobody who can protect you.

Even the federal body that's supposed to protect whistleblowers, the Merit Systems Protection Board, got itself in trouble in October for suspending and retaliating against its own whistleblower, who revealed that the agency had a huge backlog of cases and was taking far too long to adjudicate them. That certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

Finally, let's get this straight: Snowden didn't "flee to Russia." Snowden stopped in Moscow on his way from Hong Kong to South America when Secretary of State John Kerry revoked his U.S. passport. Snowden never intended to move to Moscow. Kerry made that decision for him.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Supported 9   Well Said 8   Must Read 7  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle East. He writes and speaks about national security, (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 Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

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

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

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

Forcing the Innocent to Plead Guilty, an American Disgrace

An Incompetent FBI Dropped the Ball on Syed Farook

If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, So Should Whistleblowers

The US Postal Service Is Spying On Us

Kathleen Kane: Another Whistleblower Goes to Prison in America

I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.