During the first Democrat presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was asked about Edward Snowden and what she thought of his actions. Her response: "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."
Three points here:
First, as a mere contractor, Snowden was not covered by whistleblower protections.
Second: he did in fact try going through established channels, but as expected, nobody cared.
The third point is perhaps most important. To illustrate it we use the example of Darrell Whitman who worked as a San Francisco-based investigator for the Whistleblower Protection Program - the very Federal agency tasked with offering protection to whistleblowers - when he went public with claims that the agency failed to defend workers who faced retaliation for reporting illegal activity and public safety concerns.
In an interview with NBC Bay Area earlier this year, Whitman said he tried to warn OSHA leaders that his managers pressured investigators to close complaints without proper review to clear a backlog of cases.
Whitman said his supervisor altered his reports by changing his conclusions and dismissed cases even when Whitman found they had merit.
It didn't stop there: Whitman wrote letters to OSHA leadership and to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez. "I had gone through every conceivable channel and what I saw was inaction," Whitman said.
In the end Whitman told NBC Bay Area that he was fired as retaliation for raising red flags about the agency.
"They got rid of the squeaky wheel," Whitman said. "I was going to report what I thought to be violations of law and policy. They were going to have to answer to those reports and they didn't like that."
The letter announcing his termination said Whitman had been fired for six separate reasons, including "lack of candor during an investigatory meeting" and "unauthorized release of government documents."
Whitman said the "real reason" he was fired is because he took his concerns public.
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To summarize: a whistleblower who worked for the Federal Whistleblower Protection Program was fired for blowing the whistle on his employer: the very agency that was supposed to protect him.
And now, back to Hillary who told the nation with a straight face that the person who was about to expose the most Orwellian espionage nightmare in US history, should have followed the proper channels and that there "would have been a positive response to that."