r3volution! News

Archive for the tag “whistle blowers”

For DHS, Cybersecurity Education Begins in Kindergarten

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivers a speech at George Washington University on January 27, 2011 (Photo: DHS)

In a blog on the Department of Homeland Security website, Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department is working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity beginning in kindergarten.

In a blog titled, “Inspiring the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals,” Napolitano said, “In addition, we are extending the scope of cyber education beyond the federal workplace through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, involving students from kindergarten through post-graduate school.”

“At DHS, we’re working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity while fostering an environment for talented staff to grow in this field. We are building strong cybersecurity career paths within the Department, and in partnership with other government agencies,” the secretary said.

DHS also sponsors the U.S. Cyber Challenge, she said, “a program that works with academia and the private sector to identify and develop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nation’s growing and changing security needs.”

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) noted on its website that the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation are leading the Formal Cybersecurity Education Component.

“Their mission is to bolster formal cybersecurity education programs encompassing kindergarten through 12th grade, higher education and vocational programs, with a focus on the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the private sector and government,” the website said.

“A digitally literate workforce that uses technology in a secure manner is imperative to the Nation’s economy and the security of our critical infrastructure,” NICE said on its website.

“Just as we teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, reading, writing and other critical subjects to all students, we also need to educate all students to use technology securely in order to prepare them for the digital world in which we live,” the website added.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/dhs-cybersecurity-education-begins-kindergarten

National Guard Whistleblower: “Doomsday Preppers Will Be Treated As Terrorists”

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

So begins the Oath of Enlistment for the U.S. military, but in an explosive interview with a National Guard whistleblower shown below, soldiers are now being advised they will be ordered to break that oath should civil unrest erupt across the country.

Referred to only as “Soldier X” under promise of anonymity, an Army National Guardsman spoke via phone with Infowars Nightly News Producer Rob Dew regarding a recent briefing his unit underwent on actions the military would take in the event that an Obama election loss sparked rioting in America’s streets.

Citing not only recent widespread threats to riot if Mitt Romney were to become the next U.S. president, but threats to actually assassinate him should he win, Soldier X’s superiors dispensed plans of how the National Guard would be responsible for “taking over” and quelling such unrest.

The soldiers were reportedly told “Doomsday preppers will be treated as terrorists.”

In addition, guns will be confiscated.

“They have a list compiled of all these doomsday preppers that have gone public and they plan to go after them first,” Soldier X said. He claimed those in charge are acting under the belief that preppers will be “the worst part” of any potential civil unrest.

Soldier X was also told that any soldiers in the ranks who are known as preppers will be deemed “defects.” He explained the label meant these soldiers would be treated as traitors. “If you don’t conform, they will get rid of you,” he added.

Unit members also warned not to associate with any fellow soldiers who are preppers.

Not only does the military reportedly plan to target preppers should mass chaos break out, but Soldier X also voiced his concerns regarding civilian gun confiscation.

Soldier X admitted, “Our worry is that Obama’s gonna do what he said he’s gonna do and he’s gonna outlaw all weapons altogether and anybody’s name who is on a weapon, they’re gonna come to your house and try to take them.”

It would not be the first time the National Guard has been used to unconstitutionally disarm law-abiding citizens, robbing them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, police and military took to the streets disarming lawful gun owners, including  those who were on dry land and had plenty of stored food and water.

Fast forward to this past summer when a leaked Army manual dated 2006 entitled, “Civil Disturbance Operations” surfaced outlining plans not only to confiscate firearms domestically during mass unrest, but to actually detain and even kill American citizens who refuse to hand over their guns. This manual works in conjunction with “FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations,” another Army manual leaked this year, which instructs troops on how to properly detain and intern Americans into re-education camps, including ways that so-called “psy-op officers” will “indoctrinate” incarcerated “political activists” into developing an “understanding and appreciation of U.S. policies and actions.”

Add these manuals to the plethora of Executive Orders Obama has signed during his term which have dismantled our Constitution piece by piece, including the martial law implementing National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order which gives the president the power to confiscate citizens’ private property in the event of any national emergency, including economic.

Add it all to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in which Obama granted powers to disappear and indefinitely detain American citizens without any due process, and it is easy to see the tyrannical big picture our government has painted.

When asked if he would go along with gun confiscation, Soldier X replied he and his fellow like-minded guardsmen planned to stand down — not answer the phone or show up to post.

“I’m sorry but I don’t believe in suicide,” he said.

Preppers are becoming regular government targets these days, most recently when a Missisippi prepper group member with a clean record was suddenly taken off his flight halfway to Japan and informed he was on the no-fly list, an FBI terrorist watchlist, stranding him in Hawaii. Other preppers have been denied their Second Amendment rights without legitimate cause.

It is beyond glaringly obvious at this point the U.S. government is gearing up for mass civil unrest. Not only has the DHS sparked controversy by purchasing billions of rounds of ammo, but the department even went so far as to begin classifying further purchases, blacking out bullet figures it is using taxpayer money to buy.

In addition, while FEMA can procure a billion dollars in bulk food supplies, the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism project released a flier instructing military surplus store owners to report any customers who “make bulk purchases of items” including “meals ready to eat”.

Should society as we know it collapse following the election, it would seem the ultimate prepper and the ultimate terrorist is, indeed, the U.S. government.

Army Told Preppers Are Terrorists

http://www.infowars.com/national-guard-whistleblower-doomsday-preppers-will-be-treated-as-terrorists/

CIA WHISTLEBLOWER SUSAN LINDAUER INTERVIEW WITH WE ARE CHANGE CONNECTICUT

Jeff Durkin of We Are Change Connecticut interviews CIA asset, whistleblower and political prisoner Susan Lindauer.

Watch TRUTH TALK NEWS
Hosted by Howard Nema
Monday – Thursday 9PM EST

“Where the truth is uncensored and news the controlled mainstream media ignores is the top story!”

TruthBroadcastNetwork.com

WE ARE CHANGE CONNECTICUT
Hosted by Howard Nema and Vinny Bdatruth
Saturdays 5-8PM EST

News, commentary, special guests and events

TruthBroadcastNetwork.com
Audio Simulcast on ProjectFreedom.ws
NFormDRadio.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: Some content displayed may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes

WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says

This official police document contains allegations that American soldiers killed 11 Iraqi civilians in the village of Ishaqi on Wednesday, March 15, 2006.

This cell phone photo was shot by a resident of Ishaqi on March 15, 2006, of bodies Iraqi police said were of children executed by U.S. troops after a night raid there. Here, the bodies of the five children are wrapped in blankets and laid in a pickup bed to be taken for burial. A State Department cable obtained by WikiLeaks quotes the U.N. investigator of extrajudicial killings as saying an autopsy showed the residents of the house had been handcuffed and shot in the head, including children under the age of 5. McClatchy obtained the photo from a resident when the incident occurred.

 

A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.

The unclassified cable, which was posted on WikiLeaks’ website last week, contained questions from a United Nations investigator about the incident, which had angered local Iraqi officials, who demanded some kind of action from their government. U.S. officials denied at the time that anything inappropriate had occurred.

But Philip Alston, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a communication to American officials dated 12 days after the March 15, 2006, incident that autopsies performed in the Iraqi city of Tikrit showed that all the dead had been handcuffed and shot in the head. Among the dead were four women and five children. The children were all 5 years old or younger.

Reached by email Wednesday, Alston said that as of 2010 — the most recent data he had — U.S. officials hadn’t responded to his request for information and that Iraq’s government also hadn’t been forthcoming. He said the lack of response from the United States “was the case with most of the letters to the U.S. in the 2006-2007 period,” when fighting in Iraq peaked.

Alston said he could provide no further information on the incident. “The tragedy,” he said, “is that this elaborate system of communications is in place but the (U.N.) Human Rights Council does nothing to follow up when states ignore issues raised with them.”

The Pentagon didn’t respond to a request for comment. At the time, American military officials in Iraq said the accounts of townspeople who witnessed the events were highly unlikely to be true, and they later said the incident didn’t warrant further investigation. Military officials also refused to reveal which units might have been involved in the incident.

Iraq was fast descending into chaos in early 2006. An explosion that ripped through the Golden Dome Mosque that February had set off an orgy of violence between rival Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and Sunni insurgents, many aligned with al Qaida in Iraq, controlled large tracts of the countryside.

Ishaqi, about 80 miles northwest of Baghdad, not far from Saddam Hussein’s hometown, Tikrit, was considered so dangerous at the time that U.S. military officials had classified all roads in the area as “black,” meaning they were likely to be booby-trapped with roadside bombs.

The Ishaqi incident was unusual because it was brought to the world’s attention by the Joint Coordination Center in Tikrit, a regional security center set up with American military assistance and staffed by U.S.-trained Iraqi police officers.

The original incident report was signed by an Iraqi police colonel and made even more noteworthy because U.S.-trained Iraqi police, including Brig. Gen. Issa al Juboori, who led the coordination center, were willing to speak about the investigation on the record even though it was critical of American forces.

Throughout the early investigation, U.S. military spokesmen said that an al Qaida in Iraq suspect had been seized from a first-floor room after a fierce fight that had left the house he was hiding in a pile of rubble.

But the diplomatic cable provides a different sequence of events and lends credence to townspeople’s claims that American forces destroyed the house after its residents had been shot.

Alston initially posed his questions to the U.S. Embassy in Geneva, which passed them to Washington in the cable.

According to Alston’s version of events, American troops approached a house in Ishaqi, which Alston refers to as “Al-Iss Haqi,” that belonged to Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, whom Alston identified as a farmer. The U.S. troops were met with gunfire, Alston said, that lasted about 25 minutes.

After the firefight ended, Alston wrote, the “troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial MNF intervention, a U.S. air raid ensued that destroyed the house.” The initials refer to the official name of the military coalition, the Multi-National Force.

Alston said “Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries (sic) out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.”

The cable makes no mention any of the alleged shooting suspects being found or arrested at or near the house.

The cable closely tracks what neighbors told reporters for Knight Ridder at the time. (McClatchy purchased Knight Ridder in spring 2006.) Those neighbors said the U.S. troops had approached the house at 2:30 a.m. and a firefight ensued. In addition to exchanging gunfire with someone in the house, the American troops were supported by helicopter gunships, which fired on the house.

The cable also backs the original report from the Joint Coordination Center, which said U.S. forces entered the house while it was still standing. That first report noted: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men. Then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals.”

The report was signed by Col. Fadhil Muhammed Khalaf, who was described in the document as the assistant chief of the Joint Coordination Center.

The cable also backs up the claims of the doctor who performed the autopsies, who told Knight Ridder “that all the victims had bullet shots in the head and all bodies were handcuffed.”

The cable notes that “at least 10 persons, namely Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha (aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.”

(Schofield, an editorial writer at The Kansas City Star, was Berlin bureau chief and was on temporary assignment in Iraq at the time of the Ishaqi incident.)

READ THE CABLE:

Cable: massacre of Iraqi family by U.S. troops in 2006

Top 10 Most Influential Whistleblowers

The subject of insiders — or “whistleblowers” — is somewhat tricky; anyone on the inside is often presumed to be compromised by their former allegiance. Nonetheless, the nature of government work is rooted in compartmentalization. So, perhaps the best indication as to whether whistleblowers have something valid to say is the level of persecution they have endured.

The following whistleblowers have endured a varying degree of pushback from the system, but are still around to reveal key points of information that make us all question what we are being told by our government and the corporate media.

Please listen to the video presentations of the following insiders who have used their positions to educate those on the outside about the machinations of people far more devious than ourselves. They follow in the footsteps of people such as Daniel Ellsberg, and are not the criminals that the U.S. government increasingly charges them as. Rather, these whistleblowers represent the highest level of activism and courage.

Jesselyn Radack –  Radack is a former ethics attorney and adviser to the Justice Department. She had been presented with the first case of a detainee in Afghanistan following 9/11. That detainee was John Walker Lindh, an American citizen labeled “The American Taliban.” Lindh was set to be interrogated (tortured) without council. Her advice not to pursue that direction went unheeded to the point where her e-mails to the court were deleted, which she had to then resurrect from her computer and present to the media. She subsequently was put on the No-Fly list and was targeted for investigation. Rather than fold, she fought back and wound up going to work for the premier whistleblowing advocacy group, the Government Accountability Project at whistleblower.org, founded in 1977.

After everything we have come to know about the torture apparatus overseas, and the subsequent arrival of that apparatus onto American shores embodied in the NDAA, Radack’s work is more important than ever. She discusses in the video below her background and the intensified war on whistleblowers.

Thomas Drake, (NSA) – The world got an historical overview that shed quite a bit of light on the NSA through a former ABC News reporter, James Bamford, when he released two books The Puzzle Palace and Body of Secretswhich lifted the veil and revealed a massive spying structure that far surpasses the capabilities of the CIA. The apparatus Bamford revealed was comprised of programs like Echelon that were suspected of not only massive international spying and data collection, but also domestic operations. Now those suspicions are being confirmed by high-level insiders such as Thomas Drake, who appeared in a Baltimore Sun article that highlighted a $1.2 billion program called “Trailblazer” which Drake submitted was a program of “fraud, waste, and abuse.” He was subsequently charged under The Espionage Act and was facing 35 years in prison. Drake’s defense team actually hired James Bamford as an expert witness. The case for 10 felony charges against Drake could not stand up, and he reached a misdemeanor plea deal.  Drake was the first to come forward under a new climate of aggressive formal indictment for whistleblowers that equates their truth-telling with real espionage such as selling state secrets.

William Binney (NSA) Former top NSA mathematician and code breaker, William Binney, has gone on record to publicly reveal the scope of a top-secret surveillance program that has directly targeted everyday Americans following 9/11. He is sounding an alarm about the massive scope of this project that engages in 24/7 warrantless wiretapping of the American population. Thomas Drake’s testimony was revealing, but Binney was a 32-year, top-level veteran of the NSA who reveals in the video below the domestic component of a program code named “Stellar Wind.” With the NSA working to complete its $2 billion fortress of surveillance by September 2013, which can store 100 years worth of electronic information, Binney’s concerns that we are heading down the road to totalitarianism ring true.

Mark Klein (AT&T) A veteran of twenty-two years as an AT&T technician, Mark Klein left no doubt about the veracity of an NSA domestic spying program when he revealed how he found secret rooms at a switching center in San Francisco. And he had the documents and blueprints to prove it:

Klein says he collected 120 pages of technical documents left around the San Francisco office showing how the NSA was installing ‘splitters’ that would allow it to copy both domestic and international Internet traffic moving through AT&T connections with 16 other trunk lines. ‘It’s gobs and gobs of information going across the Internet,’ Klein says. President Bush has acknowledged he authorized the NSA to intercept the communications of people with known links to terrorist organizations ‘into or out of the United States,’ but that ‘we’re not trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.’ Intelligence experts say the NSA has the means to filter out suspect communications with sophisticated machines that spot key words, names, addresses or patterns. Eventually, Klein says he decided to take his documents to the Los Angeles Times, to blow the whistle on what he calls ‘an illegal and Orwellian project.’ (Source)

Yet, the LA Times‘ editor Dean Baquet killed the story after speaking with Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and Director of the NSA Gen. Michael Hayden. The story later appeared at the New York Times. Mark Klein recounts his version of events below and how he came to realize that he was “being forced to connect the Big Brother machine.” It is worth noting that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has spearheaded lawsuits to reveal just what is being done to the American people, but courts recently ruled that warrantless wiretapping can continue.

Sibel Edmonds (FBI / 9/11) In the wake of 9/11, Edmonds was enlisted as a translator in the FBI language division to interpret wiretaps conducted inside the United States, having been born in Turkey and speaking several key languages. She describes the language division as “the highest security unit in the FBI.” She has since become the most classified woman in history, and her efforts to uncover FBI criminality that included, “money laundering, narcotic activities, and nuclear black market converg(ing) with terrorist activities” led her to be pursued and persecuted to an incredible degree by the Justice Department under John Ashcroft and Robert Mueller invoking “state secrets.” Her story is harrowing, to say the least; however, she sparked serious doubts among the general population regarding the 9/11 Commission Report – and she hasn’t stopped. To get a glimpse of the energy and tenacity of Sibel Edmonds, see the video trailer below for the whistleblower documentary “Kill The Messenger” which can be viewed in 5 parts starting HERE. More of her work can be found at Boiling Frogs. She also set up the National Security Whisleblower Coalition. And what is The American-Turkish council?

Susan Lindauer (CIA / 9/11) Susan was a former CIA asset who worked with the Libyan and Iraqi embassies prior to 9/11. Following that day, she began to reveal CIA complicity in Middle East heroin trafficking.

Lindauer also talked candidly about how Israel tried to buy U.S. Intelligence officers and Assets. For the first time on record, she revealed that a known Mossad agent tried to bribe her into handing over Iraq’s collection of banking records on Al Qaeda’s financial pipeline by phoning her home in Maryland while she was traveling in Baghdad, and promising to deliver a suitcase full of cash to any city in the world in exchange for the papers. (Source)

Susan subsequently became the second non-Arab citizen to be arrested under the Patriot Act, which culminated in a five-year indictment and near total prison lockdown for one year.

While in prison Susan was subjected to harsh conditions that would be considered torture in multiple countries. Contrary to what most Americans think, Susan and the other inmates in solitary confinement were only allowed outside once every TEN days and even then the actual amount of time outside was closer to thirty minutes. (Source)

In the video below she discusses her revelations about pre-9/11 warnings and all that followed, which eventually got published in her book Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of  the Patriot Act and the Cover-ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

Col. Anthony Shaffer (Military) – Shaffer is an intelligence agent who claimed that there was deliberate stonewalling of information prior to 9/11 as part of what came to be known as Able Danger. Beyond that, he revealed a culture of infighting between intelligence agencies that, even taken at face value, is concerning for the American taxpayer. Shaffer published his account inOperation Dark Heart. The Department of Defense responded by purchasing the book’s first, uncensored, 10,000 copy print run (with U.S. taxpayer dollars, by the way). He might have had something important to say. The video below touches upon what that might have been.

Joe Banister (IRS) – In our article 10 Ways to Stop Being a Slave and Bring Down The Pyramids of Control, IRS resistance was presented last. Here are the questions we asked:

How can a machine be built without the funding to build it?  The entire prison system we see around us has been built with our own money. Did you authorize it? Did you authorize the preemptive wars, bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, the high-tech surveillance grid that enslaves you?

Special agent, Joe Banister, exposed the mechanics of what the IRS is and how fundamentally illegal and unconstitutional their tax collection policies and methods are. The system came down HARD on one of its own. His story is instrumental in understanding what happened to the next IRS whistleblower, Sherry Peel Jackson, who took exposure to a whole new level and was pursued ruthlessly for her revelations. The income tax we have been told to believe is a patriotic obligation is itself a complete fraud. The current tax code is 72,000 pages. It is complicated for a reason. If we can wake up to the foundations of this nightmare coercive system, we stand a great chance of restoring power into the hands of the people instead of a tiny few at the top of the pyramid. Caution is warranted, however: the IRS is ready, willing and able to lock you up for a longer term than human trafficking and child porn. So, proceed with caution, but keep courage close at hand. You can see Joe Banister with Ron Paul, below.

Bradley Manning  (Military) – Manning allegedly transmitted state secrets to WikiLeaks:

Manning was arrested at forward operating base Hammer outside Baghdad on 27 May 2010 on suspicion of being the source of the biggest leak of confidential state documents in US history. He faces 22 charges relating to the transferal of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, videos and war logs to the whistleblowing website.

Under the US military rule book, a soldier must be arraigned and his trial officially started within 120 days of him being put into captivity.

(…)

Should the trial kick off on 4 February next year, as it is currently scheduled to do, he will have been held for 983 days. (Source)

Bradley Manning’s case and treatment is at the heart of a new U.S. government mission that equates the revealing of truth as aiding an abetting the enemy, which should serve as an indictment upon the system which pursues truth-tellers like Manning so vehemently. He only sought to expose the horrific “collateral damage” of the war in which he was enlisted, which has been properly retitled into “Collateral Murder.” Due to his total lockdown, there is no video we can present of Bradley Manning speaking for himself, but the video he brought out to the public through WikiLeaks says it all:

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – Assange is in a category all his own due to heading up the whistleblower repository of WikiLeaks. It has been argued that Assange and WikiLeaks are controlled opposition, much the same as Anonymous; or is it just a global chess game?  Given the subsequent persecution of Assange that continues on without relent by the establishment, he seems to have more likely been a patsy who has served to demonize all manner of whistleblowing and intimidate anyone who would take center stage in an effort to bolster people such as those documented above. Very well-respected alternative news voices such as Max Keiser and Paul Craig Roberts insist that Assange is legitimate and should be given the Nobel Peace Prize rather than warmongers and corporate financiers.

Despite whistleblowers’ explosive disclosures, the surveillance state has been normalized, as the House has voted to reauthorize the 2008 FISA Amendment Act. And, sadly, many whistleblowers who might have had even more to say have been assassinated by the system they were employed to serve. That alone should serve as a warning to those who have chosen to enter such employment, knowing the level of evil they contract with. The control structure is massive, and growing, so we must listen to the voices who courageously come forth to issue their concerns, especially when those of good conscience are being persecuted as never before.

 

So who did we miss? Add your own with links to the history of what has been revealed.

http://theintelhub.com/2012/10/21/top-10-most-influential-whistleblowers/

Obama Pursuing Leakers Sends Warning to Whistle-Blowers

Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined, including law-and-order Republicans John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.

The indictments of six individuals under that spy law have drawn criticism from those who say the president’s crackdown chills dissent, curtails a free press and betrays Obama’s initial promise to “usher in a new era of open government.”

Earlier: Obama Cabinet Flunks Disclosure Test With 19 in 20 Ignoring Law.

“There’s a problem with prosecutions that don’t distinguish between bad people — people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money — and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions,” said Abbe Lowell, attorney for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged under the Act.

Lowell, the Washington defense lawyer who has counted as his clients the likes of Jack Abramoff, the former Washington lobbyist, and political figures including former presidential candidate John Edwards, said the Obama administration is using the Espionage Act “like a club” against government employees accused of leaks.

Multimedia: Despite Transparency Promise, U.S. Denies More Than 300,000 Information Requests in One Year.

The prosecutions, which Obama and the Justice Department have defended on national security grounds, mean that government officials who speak to the media can face financial and professional ruin as they spend years fighting for their reputations, and, in some cases, their freedom.

‘Sense of Shame’

Kim’s troubles began in September 2009 when Federal Bureau of Investigation agents appeared at the State Department, where he worked as a contract analyst specializing in North Korea. He was questioned about contacts with a reporter about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Eleven months later, Kim was indicted by a grand jury on counts of disclosing classified information and making false statements.

“To be accused of doing something against or harmful to U.S. national interest is something I can’t comprehend,” said Kim, 45, who has pleaded not guilty and faces as many as 15 years in jail if convicted. “Your reputation is shot and there is such a sense of shame brought on the family.”

Kim is one of five individuals who have been pursued by Obama’s Justice Department in connection with alleged leaks of classified information to the news media. The Defense Department is pursuing a sixth case against Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of sending documents to the WikiLeaks website.

New Directive

The Justice Department said that there are established avenues for government employees to follow if they want to report misdeeds. The agency “does not target whistle-blowers in leak cases or any other cases,” Dean Boyd, a department spokesman, said.

“An individual in authorized possession of classified information has no authority or right to unilaterally determine that it should be made public or otherwise disclose it,” he said.

Read more here: Transparency Outsourced as U.S. Hires Vendors for Disclosure Aid

On Oct. 10, Obama issued a policy directive to executive- branch agencies extending whistle-blower protections to national security and intelligence employees, who weren’t included in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that passed the U.S. House last month and awaits Senate approval.

While the directive seeks to protect those workers from retaliation if they report waste, fraud or abuse through official channels, it “doesn’t include media representatives within the universe of people to whom the whistle-blower can make the disclosure,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center of Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program. That still gives Obama the option of pursuing prosecutions of intelligence employees who talk to the press, she said.

‘Important Step’

“The directive is definitely an important step in the right direction, but even if it’s faithfully enforced — and that’s an open question — it may not always be enough,” Goitein said. “A whistle-blower’s report could go to the very people who are responsible for the misconduct.”

Lisa O. Monaco, the top Justice Department official in its National Security Division, told lawmakers earlier this year that leaks are damaging to intelligence operations and the country’s national security as a whole.

“Virtually all elements of the intelligence community have suffered severe losses due to leaks,” Monaco said in February testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Romney Criticism

Still, even as the administration pursues its unprecedented crackdown on government leaks it does not condone, the prosecutions have fallen short of the wishes of lawmakers and other national security experts, who point to books and articles that have shed new light on classified operations.

The administration stands accused of anonymously releasing sensitive information to suit its own political purposes. The disclosure of operational details of the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden and attempts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons program triggered the announcement in June of a Justice Department probe of those leaks.

That move was criticized by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who called for an independent investigation.

“Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama’s attorney general, should not be responsible for investigating leaks coming from the Obama White House,” Romney said in a speech at national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in July. “Who in the White House betrayed these secrets?”

‘Chilling Message’

Administration officials are far less forgiving of those who conduct unauthorized contacts with the press.

“They want to destroy you personally,” said Thomas Drake, a senior National Security Agency employee prosecuted in 2010 by Obama’s Justice Department under the Espionage Act. The message to government workers seeking to expose waste, fraud and abuse is “see nothing, say nothing, don’t speak out — otherwise we’ll hammer you,” he said.

Drake faced 10 felony counts in connection to an allegation that he shared classified information with a reporter. He was linked to a report in the Baltimore Sun about inefficiencies and cost over-runs in an NSA surveillance program that was later abandoned.

The case against Drake collapsed last year before trial after he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and the government dropped the more serious charges that could have sent him to jail for 35 years.

The prosecution was meant to “make me an object lesson and to send the most chilling message,” said Drake, who is adamant that he never handed over any classified information. “I was essentially bankrupted, blacklisted and blackballed. I was turned into damaged goods.”

Security Exception

Cases such as Drake’s indicate that Obama doesn’t “see the world of national security as being part of open government,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington-based federal watchdog group. “To me, that’s the most important part that needs an open government ethos foisted upon it.”

Monaco, who is an assistant attorney general, told lawmakers this year that advances in technology play a role in the uptick in prosecutions. Where investigators used to struggle to track down the origins of leaks, they now are able to check phone records, e-mail trails and even “employee physical access or badging records” to trace disclosures, she said.

Intelligence agencies are required to report any unauthorized disclosures to the Justice Department, Monaco said. From there, the department, along with the reporting agency, decide whether to open an investigation.

Kim’s Story

The South Korea-born Kim emigrated to the U.S. with his parents and sister in 1976. He spoke little English when he arrived and was enrolled in third grade. A naturalized citizen and graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Kim made a brief stop on Wall Street before heading to Harvard University to earn a Master’s degree in National Security. He then went to Yale, where at age 31, he earned his Ph.D in diplomatic and military history.

“I decided to forgo a lot of other career opportunities to work in the government,” Kim said.

Kim took a role as an analyst on a range of East Asian matters, with a specialty in North Korea. He briefed many high ranking officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

In June 2009, Kim is alleged to have discussed how North Korea might react to a United Nations resolution condemning its nuclear tests with reporter James Rosen of Fox News, according to a person familiar with the case. The relationship between Kim and Rosen began when the State Department’s press office arranged a briefing at the request of Kim’s superiors.

Allegations

Prosecutors say that when asked about his communications with the press by the FBI in their initial meeting in September 2009, Kim lied about a continued relationship with the reporter. That same day, he was told his State Department contract had been terminated for budget reasons, according to court filings.

The government alleges Kim’s contacts with Rosen included “efforts to conceal his relationship with the reporter and the secretive nature of their communications speaks volumes about the defendant’s knowledge of who was, and who was not, entitled to receive” information.

Kim declined to discuss specifics of his case in the interview in his lawyer’s office in Washington. His efforts to get the charges dismissed were rejected last year by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who in denying the motions to dismiss said that the alleged leak involved a report with a classification level that “could be expected to cause grave damage to the national security” if disclosed.

Costly Cases

Cases such as Kim’s, which can be drawn out for years as the prosecution and defense teams work with sensitive materials through dozens of filings and status reports can cost upwards of $1 million, according to Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer with the Government Accountability Project who has defended two individuals prosecuted under the law.

Kim said his parents sold their home in South Korea to help pay for his defense. His sister has also pitched in and a former college roommate has created a website to publicize his case and raise funds.

Radack said the Obama administration crackdown is part of an effort to shut down investigations into the workings of the national-security apparatus.

“At first I thought these Espionage Act prosecutions were to curry favor with the national security and intelligence establishments, which saw Obama as weak when he entered office,” Radack said. “It became abundantly clear the more people were indicted, when you read their indictments, that this was a way to create really terrible precedent for ultimately going after journalists.”

Subpoena Fight

The Justice Department disputes the claim that it would use the law to go after journalists. Monaco, in her testimony this year, pointed to department regulations that limit investigators’ access to reporters, even when doing so “makes these investigations more challenging.”

Still, those rules haven’t completely insulated journalists. James Risen, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer for the New York Times, was subpoenaed to testify at the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer indicted under the law for allegedly disclosing information about Iran’s nuclear program.

Risen and his lawyers have fought the subpoena, arguing in February that the subpoena threatens the role of journalism in serving the public interest.

Espionage Act

The Espionage Act, signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917, has until Obama took office been primarily deployed against some of the most damaging double agents in the U.S. history. Those include Aldrich Ames, a Central Intelligence Agency operative convicted in 1994 for spying for Russia, and Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent convicted in 2001 of similar offenses. Both men are serving life sentences without parole in high-security federal prisons.

The law also prohibits the unlawful disclosure of national defense information to those not entitled to receive it — a provision that defense lawyers say is being abused by Obama’s prosecutors.

“I campaigned for him, contributed to him, voted for him and believed him,” said Radack of Obama. “For someone who pledged to protect and defend whistle-blowers, he certainly has not even remained neutral, he’s affirmatively set us back really, really far.”

Disclosure Provision

The Justice Department has used the disclosure provision to pursue five cases against government officials for allegedly sharing classified information with members of the news media. In 2009, former FBI linguist Shamai Leibowitz was indicted for handing over transcripts of government wiretaps of the Israeli embassy in Washington to a blogger. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Obama also continued the George W. Bush administration’s investigation of Drake, the NSA employee.

“It’s important to understand what’s going on in this country — the government has criminalized whistle-blowing,” said Drake, 55, who lost his $155,000-a-year NSA job in 2008. He now works as a wage-grade employee at an Apple store in a Washington suburb to support his family.

The Justice Department also continues to pursue Sterling, the former CIA officer, and John Kiriakou, an intelligence official who wrote a book detailing the illegal use of waterboarding by the CIA. Kiriakou is also accused of disclosing the identity of a CIA analyst to reporters.

Two Scandals

“The two biggest scandals of the Bush administration in terms of constitutional violations was the use of torture, and renditions, and secret surveillance — and the only two people to date who have been charged in connection with those scandals are myself and John Kiriakou,” Drake said. “That should tell you something about how hard the Obama administration is going to protect those programs.”

The Espionage Act charges against Drake were dropped last year, with the defendant accepting a minor penalty for exceeding the authorized use of a computer. The Justice Department prosecutors were excoriated by U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett for the more than two-year delay between the first search of Drake’s home and the indictment, as well as the decision to drop the most serious charges days before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

Judge’s Rebuke

“I find it extraordinary in this case for an individual’s home to be searched in November of 2008, for the government to have no explanation for a two-year delay, not a two and a half year delay, for him to be indicted in April of 2010, and then over a year later, on the eve of the trial, in June of 2011, the government says, whoops, we dropped the whole case,” Bennett said at Drake’s July 2011 sentencing, according to a court transcript.

Manning, the analyst who allegedly disclosed hundreds of thousands of confidential government documents to WikiLeaks, faces court-martial under the espionage law.

The president’s openness pledge is also undermined by a recent Bloomberg News analysis, which showed that 19 of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the Freedom of Information Act requiring the disclosure of public documents. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s FOIA requests for top officials’ travel costs within the 20-day window required by the Act.

The White House disputes the notion that the president hasn’t kept his promise of transparency.

“While creating a more open government requires sustained effort, our continued efforts seek to promote accountability, provide people with useful information and harness the dispersed knowledge of the American people,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in an e-mailed statement.

Obama Meeting

In March last year, Obama met with five open-government advocates in the Oval Office. In the session, Brian of the Project on Government Oversight told Obama that the leak prosecutions were undermining his legacy.

“The president shifted in his seat and leaned forward. He said he wanted to engage on this topic because this may be where we have some differences,” Brian wrote in a March 29, 2011 POGO blog post. “He said he doesn’t want to protect the people who leak to the media war plans that could impact the troops.”

Today, Kim rarely sees his South Korean-born wife, who spends time largely in her native country with her parents. Without any security clearances, Kim is restricted to working on non-classified projects for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He said that most of his colleagues have abandoned him, refusing to return phone calls or letting him know that for professional reasons they’d rather he not pick up the phone. The case has left him isolated personally and professionally.

‘Like a Disease’

“I’m like a disease,” Kim said.

Because of preliminary legal wrangling, Kim’s case is unlikely to make it to court before the end of the year, according to a joint status report filed on Aug. 31.

Sitting in his lawyer’s office a few blocks away from the State Department where he once worked, Kim acknowledges that while he’s had bad days in the past 16 months, he has recognized that in the wake of his personal and financial woes, he may be the only person that can keep himself afloat.

“There was one time at home, one time, when I screamed out loud, when I yelled and I cried. The resentment was so deep,” Kim said. “But ever since then I haven’t shed another tear because if I break down, everything breaks down.”

The Kim case is U.S. v. Kim, 10cr00225, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-18/obama-pursuing-leakers-sends-warning-to-whistle-blowers.html

I support Leah-Lynn Plante and the integrity of free speech

I would say it’s a safe bet to claim that most people reading this column are at least vaguely familiar with Pussy Riot, the Russian anarchist demonstrators who made recent headlines for the arrest of three of its members.

This arrest prompted the United States State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland to state that the U.S. is “concerned about both the verdict and the disproportionate sentences…and the negative impact on freedom of expression” that may result. The State Department urged Russian authorities to “review this case and to ensure that the right of freedom of expression is upheld.”

I would also bet that most people reading this column are not familiar at all with the recent arrests of three American anarchist demonstrators. America’s dissenters appear to not be making headlines on any popular news sources that Americans regularly come into contact with.

In the past month, Matt Duran, Katherine “Kateeo” Olejnik, and Leah-Lynn Plante have all been incarcerated and placed into solitary confinement (generally reserved for high risk and dangerous criminals) at the Federal Detention Center in Seatac, Wash.

The heinous crime these three were found guilty of committing? Exercising silence.

Plante, the most recently indicted on Oct. 10, had her home occupied and raided by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents on the morning of July 25.

She was accused of being involved with vandalism that occurred at Seattle on May Day and accused of lying when she insisted that nothing in her home was used in the alleged vandalism. The FBI agents confiscated personal items, books and other literature as “evidence” in a fashion reminiscent of “1984.”

Shortly after, Plante was called to testify in a federal grand jury that was intended to investigate anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.

Federal grand juries are convened as a means of honoring the Fifth Amendment (“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.”)

However, in a grand jury, the Fourth (the part about search warrants, searches, and seizures) and Sixth (speedy public trial, right to defense, and due process of law) Amendments become void.

Grand juries are used as a means of gathering evidence to decide if a crime has actually been committed. They accomplish this through using subpoenas — orders to testify or face punishment — to extract information from people with hopes of gathering enough solid evidence to create a criminal trial.

If you refuse to answer the questions asked by a grand jury, then you can be accused of civil contempt, which will immediately result in a trial and (as is the case of Duran, Olejnik, and Plante) can result in being remanded into federal custody.

In essence, grand juries have a ton of power, and the defense can’t do a thing about it except kneel over in submission or face penance.

There is no “innocent until proven guilty.” There is only “cooperate or you are guilty.” Federal grand juries are little more than witch hunts designed to force whistleblowing or face punishment.

Further adding to the unconscionable nature of the series of events that has occurred, evidence gathered via the Freedom of Information Act request has let it known that the jury was called on March 2, two months before the May Day vandalism that the jury focused on.

Everything about these arrests seems incredibly unethical. Every facet of the “justice” system feels grossly misused: The grand jury usage, the raid, the resulting punishment.

Things just smell fishy. Pieces don’t add up. It’s reflecting McCarthy-era fear tactics used to unjustly target people who have seemingly threatening political affiliations. I can’t speak for everyone, but simply saying “I will not answer your questions today” does not sound very threatening to me.

Despite everything, these activists have taken their penalties gracefully. As Plante said in her official statement on the day of her arrest, “Today is Oct. 10, 2012, and I am ready to go to prison.”

I do not know if Plante and her comrades have participated in activities worthy of legal punishment. But I do know that I commend and admire them all for remaining unwavering in their convictions and resisting the federal grand jury, despite the resulting punishments.

Despite their anarchist affiliations, I cannot actually imagine a more “American” ideal than sacrificing everything in order to fight for the integrity in freedom of speech.

If only the United States State Department felt freedom of expression was as important on domestic soil as they do for Russian activists.

Anna Mitchell is a junior liberal arts major. Her columns appear Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

http://www.collegian.com/2012/10/17/i-support-leah-lynn-plante-and-the-integrity-of-free-speech/

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: