The Sad Fate Of America's Whistleblowers

Tyler Durden's picture

Paul Craig Roberts believes Washington persecutes America's greatest patriots...

John Kiriakou is an American patriot who informed us of the criminal behavior of illegal and immoral US “cloak and dagger” operations that were bringing dishonor to our country. His reward was to be called a “traitor” by the idiot conservative Republicans and sentenced to prison by the corrupt US government.


Manning revealed US war crimes and after years of illegal pre-trial prison abuse was sentenced to 35 years in prison for keeping the vow to the US Constitution. Some of the idiot conservative Republicans thought the sentence was too light.


Tom Drake was ruined, and he kept his complaints about NSA illegality within the chain of command.


Julian Assange is confined by the US and UK governments in violation of international law to the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for doing his job and publishing leaked documents revealing the mendacity, immorality, and illegality of Washingtonn’s policies.


Edward Snowden is protected by Russia against Washington’s retribution for revealing that Washington’s illegal and unconstitutional spying is universal and includes the personal communications of all of the leaders of Washington’s own vassal states.

The American people accept the persecution of truth-tellers, because they have been brainwashed into believing that patriotism means defense of the government no matter what. As truth is so unfavorable to Washington, Americans believe that it must not be revealed, and if revealed, covered up, and those who reveal truth must be punished.

A country with such a population as this is a police state, not a free country.

It is an irony of history that a government and a population that believes truth must be covered up at all cost parades around the world acting as if Washington is the history’s agent for ?“bringing freedom and democracy to the world.”

As John Kiriakou most recently noted at, history may smile on these guardians of the public trust, but during their lifetimes they remain outcasts...

 What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand?


When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution.


All of this happened despite the fact that the torture I helped expose is illegal in the United States. Torture also violates a number of international laws and treaties to which our country is signatory — some of which the United States itself was the driving force in drafting.


I was charged with three counts of espionage, all of which were eventually dropped when I took a plea to a lesser count. I had to choose between spending up to 30 months in prison and rolling the dice to risk a 45-year sentence. With five kids, and three of them under the age of 10, I took the plea.


Tom Drake — the NSA whistleblower who went through the agency’s chain of command to report its illegal program to spy on American citizens — was thanked for his honesty and hard work by being charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage. The government eventually dropped the charges, but not before Drake had suffered terrible financial, professional, and personal distress.


This is an ongoing theme, especially in government.


Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years in prison for her disclosure of State Department and military cable traffic showing American military crimes in Iraq and beyond. And Edward Snowden, who told Americans about the extent to which our government is spying on us, faces life in prison if he ever returns to the country.


The list goes on and on.


Baltimore Police Department whistleblower Joe Crystal knew what he was getting into when he reported an incident of police brutality to his superiors after witnessing two colleagues brutally beat a suspect. Crystal immediately became known as a “rat cop” and a “snitch.”


He finally resigned from the department after receiving credible death threats.


It’s not just government employees either. Whistleblowers first brought attention to wrongdoing at Enron, Lehman Brothers, Stanford International Bank, and elsewhere.


And what’s their reward? Across the board, whistleblowers are investigated, harassed, fired, and in some cases prosecuted.


That’s the conclusion of author Eyal Press, whose book Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times documents the struggles of whistleblowers throughout history. Press’s whistleblowers never recover financially or professionally from their actions. History seems to smile on them, but during their lifetimes they remain outcasts.

This is a tragedy. Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing should be the norm, not the exception.

I recently visited Greece to help the government there draft a whistleblower protection law. The Greek word for “whistleblower” translates as “guardian of the public trust.” I wish our own government’s treatment of whistleblowers could reflect that understanding.

Yet even legal guarantees of protection from prosecution and persecution aren’t enough — especially if, as in the case of existing law, national security employees are exempt from these safeguards.

Instead, society must start seeing things differently. Like the Greeks, all of us need to start treating whistleblowers as guardians, not traitors. And if we value what freedoms we have left, we should demand that our government do the same.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
NoDebt's picture

"all of us need to start treating whistleblowers as guardians, not traitors. And if we value what freedoms we have left, we should demand that our government do the same."

Yes, let's petition the government to protect us from the government.  Seems perfectly reasonable.

In particular, when you start talking about "what freedons we have left" you've completely missed the boat.  It's like admitting that you already know all your freedoms will be taken away, but maybe we could protect one or two of them for a few years more.... if we're lucky.

Why not demand ALL your liberties?  There's a document that describes them.  I forget what it's called, but I'm fairly sure we don't use it much any more.

Demdere's picture

Yes, one of many things and all begin with turning off the TV and learning to think, to reject the propaganda.

Reducing the targeting of their propaganda, their understanding of you will help, also.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Demdere Oct 18, 2015 8:59 PM

Clinton on Snowden: "He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that."

Norman Solomon on Clinton: "Hillary Clinton gave hypocrisy a bad name. What she had to say had no intersection with reality. We have talked about how in the case of Jeffrey Sterling, but in many other instances such as the NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, another brave whistleblower, going through channels actually marked them for persecution and prosecution. And the idea that Hillary Clinton was floating, that somehow there are channels for whistleblowers to go through in the so-called national security arena as whistleblowers, that is ridiculous. And either she was being mendacious or ignorant, or some combination."

uhland62's picture

I saw a docu where Drake was interviewed. It is worth noting  how his charges were dropped. He said that ALL of the information he had revealed were in the public domain, so he did NOT reveal  state secrets. He sold his house to be able to pay researchers/private detectives and proved that each an every bit of information was indeed publicly known. Only THEN were the charges dropped. 

What is described in the article as absolute loyalty to the government and system sounded like the aboslute loyalty that people expressed for Hitler. 

A Nanny Moose's picture

No doubt it was a typical Statist. To support any State activity (Military, Corporations, Food Stamps, Currency, Water, etc.) is support of all state activities. All endeavors undertaken by The State being with theft, at gunpoint. To support The State, is to support theft (of all propery).

Booked's picture



In France we leave unmolested those who set fire to the house and persecute those who sound the alarm bell.  -- Nicolas Chamfort--d.1794

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) NoDebt Oct 18, 2015 8:59 PM


junction's picture

Reporter Michael Hastings was a whistleblower of sorts and he ended up being murdered and, based on the fast cremation of his body, tortured.  There is a trail of dead bodies that show what happened to people who knew too much about the Saudi/Mossad/Bush 9/11 plot.  One guy who worked at the World Trade Center and mentioned something about pre-planted explosives in the building wound up dead a few days later.  America is just like Nazi Germany today with death squads available to carry out Obama's kill list orders here, not abroad.

uhland62's picture

When it happened, Spiegel had a list of tenents of the buildings. When I looked again two days later that had vanished.

There were some Australians who died there, and some relatives wanted to liaise with the the other relatives of the deceased. Department of Foreign Affairs refused to release any names so they could not get together. Obviously they would have had to ask every relative 'do you want relatives of other deceased to know your name and phone number'. They actively prevented group formation. One Australian was working on telecommunication, no further detail.

By contrast, the victims of the Bali bombings shortly after were all identified with picture, name, etc in the press. Not the 9/11 victims. I once read something about a connection with Yamashita gold, but can't remember the rather confusing details.

They can dismiss all of us as neurotic and paranoid conspiracy theorists. But when there are too many oddities and secrets we speculate, having every right to it.

They can give us the truth, we can take it. But they don't because they have something that has to be hidden. We haven't seen interviews with the parents of the deceased pilots either. Well coordinated, but the truth will come out one day.   

Kreditanstalt's picture

The "Constitution" is just another government LAW.  Your rights predate that.  All sovereign individuals predate government. 

cynicalskeptic's picture

You forgot Sibel Edmonds...  a federal gag order keeps her silent

An FBI translator, she stumbled across intercepts involving US politicians, Turkish generals, arms dealers, drug dealers and 'terrorists'.   The few Senators she talked to were 'alarmed' - but the response was to silence her.  

You think things might have changed after Hastert (supposedly a key figure in all this as Speaker of the House) got nabbed paying hush money to cover up his sexual 'indiscretions' but DC protects its own

BarkingCat's picture

from the boiling frog link : " ....and the Congress of the United States has been gagged and prevented from any discussion of her case through retroactive re-classification issued by the Department of Justice."

I call bullshit on that statement. The Justice Department nor any other part of the Executive Branch has any authority over the Legislative Branch.

When these purveyors of conspiracy theory write a story it would behove them to get some very basic facts right. When they write something like the above which contradict basic knowledge of the constitution,. their entire story is suspect and so it is impossible to tell what is true and what else is bullshit.

I could easily rewrite this story to something lot more logical and believable. She did indeed find problems and reported them. The management buried it because it showed that they or their friends were incompetent.  She like a good person pushed it but management being political hacks wanted it to go away so not to imped they career and they looked for any reason or pretence to fire her.

She did talk to some congressmen or senators but these are egotistical blowhards and they might have pretended to care all the while thinking about how to screw Joe public and she was just a bother to them. There was no upside for them in her story so they quickly forgotten it.... or better yet. What she discovered involved some private company that they were actually getting kickback ... ahh contributions from...

Overfed's picture

Considering the dereliction of duty that congress seems to be guilty of, I'm not that surprised that they are letting DO (anything but) J lord over therm.

HenryHall's picture

Nothing new there.

The criminal and evil judges, legislators and government executives will go to any lengths to cover up each others crimes. Nothing new in that.

illyia's picture

And, Gawd forbid it not be new. Why new is all there is! Doncha know that's why they call it news?

If it aint news dont fix it.

22winmag's picture

[Snowden is a traitor]


-Tea Party Rock Star Marco Rubio

dreadnaught's picture

-Tea Party Pedophile Marco Rubio

Freddie's picture

The TEa Party was conned by that creep Rubio.  Most TP people hate him now. 

Foolishly, many have fallen for TPP and Goldman Sachs boy Ted Cruz.

venturen's picture

+100....Rubio and Cruz are the opposite of Tea Party

GRDguy's picture

NOW do you understand why I say vote for the least-financed candidate to any elected government office and allow them only one term?  It's about the only thing we can do without violence.  And as ZHer's know, the government has much more ammo than we do.

rejected's picture

Most know it's not the voters that elect,,, it's the vote counters. In this case the vote counters are computers with so many doors that if it were a structure it would collapse.


Kreditanstalt's picture

Whistleblowers tell the truth.


There's no place for truth in an extend-and-pretend economy.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

ajkreider's picture

You'd have a point, if Snowden, et al, had only revealed illegal or immoral activity.  But they didn't.  They revealed a whole lot that they hadn't even looked at.  

So, if they're heroes, they are careless and irresponsible heroes.

Demdere's picture

Bullshit.  Snowden should have dumped everything on wikileaks rather than the very cautious approach he used.

Nobody has been targeted as a result of any of the, although the gov says that every time, they can never back it up.  We left translators, etc. in Iraq when we left, army officers tried very hard to get the OK to bring them here, could never make it happen.  That had nothing to do with any leaks, that was our State Department.

You can't back that up.  You know you can't back that up.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Boy, that's a toughie. Careless and irresposible heroes or careful, resposible traitors, hmmm, toughie indeed.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

He did reveal illegal and immoral activity and it doesn't matter how many times you and filth like you say otherwise. The NSA scandal isn't over. It's a rotting festering sore that won't go away, much like all the other scandals over the past few decades. IT IS WHY uncle satan has no credibility and no moral high ground.

Farqued Up's picture

In other words, fuck all sunshine laws, too. After all, they are LEGAL, usually.

Please rethink what you posted.

Hulk's picture

As a serial Federal Whistleblower, I assure ya'll that all of the above is correct...

Not if_ But When's picture

The only even remotely thoughtful comment on Snowden during the Dem debate was made by Bernie Sanders who acknowledged that Snowden provided very valuable knowledge to the American citizen.  The rest of his answer wasn't perfect - but was head and shoulders above the other scum (like Hillary).

Jack Burton's picture

Obama is much worse than any president ever when it comes to attacking freedom of information. Obama is a Neocon, Zionist. He wants zionsim to work in secret, he wants to keep the people ignorant of his sell out to total zionist control. That's why he seeks to put whistle blower sin jail for ever, Obama is no liberal, he is an evil fucking zio fascist.

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

As Bill kristol put it, a born again neo con. I don't think the Osama slayer has much choice in the matter, but you are right the man is a total POS.

rejected's picture

Chelsea Manning is a he,,, not a her.

I personally will not partake of this sick and demented gender bender horse hockey.

Demdere's picture

Who are you to tell someone anything about themselves?  It isn't your business, you don't define their reality.  It is freedom, you know?

And why does it offend you?  What skin is lost off your nose?

Teh Finn's picture
Teh Finn (not verified) Demdere Oct 18, 2015 9:50 PM

XY is male.  It has testes.  If he came out and demanded to be called and treated as Napoleon, he would be thrown in an institution, but for no good reason we are expected to allow and abide a man to be called a woman?

Sheer lunacy.

Demdere's picture

I own my body.  I can do any gd thing I want with my body and it is none of your gd business.,

Chelsea Manning is an entity with full human rights, which includes wearing any body she wishes in whatever version she can attain. Your wants and wishes and offended mind are of no weight in her decisions and none in mine.

Think as you wish, speak as you wish, and we will laugh at your simple thinking, but very much condemn your attempts to force that simple one-size fits all culture on the rest of us.

This is a Freedom issue, of the same level as any human right, the 1st and 2nd Amendment.  Living life to suit ourselves so long as we do not intrude on the lives of others is the issue, and I defend Chelsea Manning for the same reason I defend those issues.

Teh Finn's picture
Teh Finn (not verified) Demdere Oct 18, 2015 10:47 PM

Lunacy it is.  You want to believe lies and in mutilation, well then I guess that is on you.  Just don't ask me to pay for, subsidize, or accept your insanity.  That is my freedom.

Demdere's picture

Just to record the event, I voted you up.

Also, note that those kind of opinions are exactly what the anti-gun people lay on us : no rational reason for anything, just unreasoning dislike for our  understanding of how thngs must be, should be, and attempts to restrict our freedom based on nada.

Teh Finn's picture
Teh Finn (not verified) Demdere Oct 18, 2015 11:27 PM

ah, ya wound me up.  The LGBQWTFBBQSAUCE  things gets me wound up because of the insane ground they have taken in recent history.  From Chic-Fil-A to Brendon Eich, and Hobby Lobby, and the bathroom and lockerroom crap.  Chelsea Manning...rofl.

N2OJoe's picture

Unfortunately now that Obozo care has been rolled out, the government owns your body, my body, and everyone elses bodies. Soon we will be instructed at gunpoint(does the government give instruction in any other way?) to call each othe Ze, Zha, etc.

Ignatius's picture

Have you noticed that the only group making progress in civil liberties as of late are those in the LGBT community?  Weird, no?  Otherwise, we're all going backwards.

Demdere's picture

One of my two long-time friends is gay.  He is a gun-owner, shooter, ...  Fully as pro-Constitution, pro-Freedom as anyone here.

BarkingCat's picture

You do own your own body and can do with it as you please.

I also own my body which includes the brain and mouth and fingers.

The brain tells me that Manning is freak and is everybody else who does what it did.

My mouth allows me to say these things and my fingers allow me to type it.


You, stating that it is normal, also show yourself to be fucked in the head and frankly I do not care.