The Justice Department’s decision to let ex-CIA Director Petraeus off with a hand slap for giving his mistress highly sensitive secrets raises questions about the harsh punishments meted out to lower-level leakers/truth-tellers — and the threat of a long prison term for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, writes Trevor Timm.
In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public.
Over the past dozen years, the “war on terror” has taken a profound toll on U.S. constitutional protections and democratic principles, a process that continues despite President Obama’s promise last May that “this war like all wars must end,” as Lawrence Davidson explains.
Some of our special stories in June, focusing on the dangers of truth-telling (from Gary Webb and Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning), a major turn in the 1980 October Surprise case, and the Right’s dark history of racism.
President Obama seems more willing to alienate his base of young supporters who object to the growing Surveillance State than to offend the national security apparatchiks who run it. But Obama’s crackdown on leakers also has found apologists among MSNBC’s “liberal” talkers, as Jeff Cohen reports.