Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Obama campaign brags about prosecuting whistleblowers he once vowed to protect

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From then-President-Elect Obama’s transition website promises in 2008:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

And now, from the Obama campaign website:

President Obama has done more than any other administration to forcefully pursue and address leaks of classified national security information. Here are the facts:

  • The Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many cases under the Espionage Act as all other administrations combined.

  • Under the President, the Justice Department has prosecuted six cases regarding national security leaks.

  • Before he took office, federal prosecutors had used the Espionage Act in only three cases.

So, doing more than all previous U.S. presidents in history to crack down on those who reveal governmental fraud, waste and abuse after having previously sworn to protect them is now to be seen as a proud accomplishment. My, what a difference four years in power makes, eh?

For further reading, PolitiFact examines in detail the Obama administration’s decidedly lackluster handling of whistleblowers.

(via @ggreenwald)