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Sat May 18, 2013, 09:29 AM

About that “record number” of Obama leak prosecutions:

We've all heard the claim that Obama has out-Cheneyed Cheney by doubling down on whistle-blower prosecutions. Oh the outrage! But apart from the fact that leakers are not "whistle-blowers," here's what that actually means:


1. The total number of Obama first-term leak prosecutions is six (6). Previous leak prosecutions: three. So technically, yes, the BO has prosecuted more leakers than all previous administrations combined, but all that says is that previous administrations had reasons not to pursue leakers.


2. Obama only calls attention to his leak prosecutions because Congress has accused him of leaking on purpose to flaunt his national security achievements -- like RW administrations do. How they love to accuse Obama of their own sins.


3. There’s no coordinated WH or DoJ policy of cracking down on leaks, and the prosecutions have originate from various sources:

The scattered bureaucratic background of the six cases appears to support the notion that they were not the result of a top-down policy. Two were handled by the Justice Department’s criminal division, while two others were developed by the national security division. A case involving a former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, started with an unrelated inquiry at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and ended up as a leak case by accident. And the case against Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst accused of delivering huge archives of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was a military prosecution that would most likely have been brought under any administration.


4. The reason Obama has succeeded where previous admins have failed-on-purpose is largely because of accidental developments like growing use of digital devices and policies set in motion during Bushler’s second term:

But a closer look reveals a surprising conclusion: the crackdown has nothing to do with any directive from the president, even though he is now promoting his record as a political asset. Instead, it was unplanned, resulting from several leftover investigations from the Bush administration, a proliferation of e-mail and computer audit trails that increasingly can pinpoint reporters’ sources, bipartisan support in Congress for a tougher approach, and a push by the director of national intelligence in 2009 that sharpened the system for tracking disclosures.


5. Last but not least, “Decisions about leak prosecutions are made by the Department of Justice,” not the White House, and five of these six cases have been pursued by agencies of the DoJ. The sixth, Manning's, is being pursued by the Army.


But that doesn’t get the outrage flowing, does it?


More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/us/politics/accidental-path-to-record-leak-cases-under-obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

7 replies, 1258 views

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply About that “record number” of Obama leak prosecutions: (Original post)
ucrdem May 2013 OP
JaneyVee May 2013 #1
ucrdem May 2013 #2
ucrdem May 2013 #3
ucrdem May 2013 #4
freshwest May 2013 #5
Liberal_Stalwart71 May 2013 #6
ucrdem Jan 2014 #7

Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Sat May 18, 2013, 09:38 AM

1. Weren't 2 leak prosecutions held over from Bush's term? Plus, technology has expanded,

giving way to more accessible ways to leak info.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #1)

Sat May 18, 2013, 09:48 AM

2. Yes I think these two were:

In addition, the Bush administration assigned at least two cases to hard-charging prosecutors outside the counterespionage section: those of Thomas A. Drake, an N.S.A. official accused of telling The Baltimore Sun about wasteful spending on technology; and of Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer accused of disclosing the agency’s efforts against Iran to James Risen, a reporter for The Times, for a book. Both cases were still open at the end of the Bush years.


Trying to get the list of six now. It's astonishing how much hot air has been blown over this, and how little factual information it actually contains. Case in point:

Obama's War on Whistleblowers

The president has been accused of allowing the Stuxnet leaks to help in the election, but his overarching policy has been extraordinarily tough on whistleblowing.

By Peter Van Buren | Mother Jones | Tue Jun. 12, 2012

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obamas-whistleblowers-stuxnet-leaks-drones


"Overarching policy," good grief.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #1)

Sat May 18, 2013, 09:56 AM

3. Here's the complete list I think:

1. Drake (leftover from Bush),

2. Sterling (ditto),

3. Manning (Army),

4. Liebowitz:

Shamai Leibowitz --A former translator for the FBI, Leibowitz was sentenced for 20 months in prison for leaking classified documents to a blogger. It's not clear what information Leibowitz shared. According to court documents examined by The Washington Post, the information concerned "communication intelligence activities" and constituted a betrayal of the FBI. What he shared was apparently so top secret, not even the sentencing judge was told what he divulged. Leibowitz eventually plead guilty to his charges. "“This was a one-time mistake that happened to me when I worked at the FBI and saw things that I considered a violation of the law,” he said.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/05/obamas-war-whistle-blowers/38106/


5. Risen (apparently part of the Stirling case, thus technically Bush),

6. Kiriakou.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #3)

Sat May 18, 2013, 10:28 AM

4. More about Kiriakou:

Apparently he wasn't prosecuted for talking about torture, but for leaking the name of a CIA operative to a reporter:

Prosecutors said Kiriakou leaked the name of a covert operative to a journalist, who subsequently disclosed it to an investigator working for the lawyer of a Guantanamo detainee.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/25/cia-whistleblower-john-kiriakou-prison


And it seems he wasn't targeted but became part of a 2009 investigation into Guantanamo. Personally I don't think he should be going to jail for talking to the press about waterboarding, but apparently he isn't, and if really disclosed the name of the operative, what did he think was going to happen?



Incidentally Kiriakou joined the CIA in 1990, when Bush senior was in office.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #4)

Sun May 19, 2013, 11:40 PM

5. 'Kiriakou joined the CIA in 1990, when Bush senior was in office' but waits for Obama to get in?

May mean nothing, may mean something. After all we have the GOP and ABC altering memos...

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Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 03:13 PM

6. Bookmarking!! Thank you so much!!

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Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Wed Jan 1, 2014, 02:55 PM

7. See also: Is John Kiriakou really a whistle-blower?

Is John Kiriakou really a whistle-blower?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024259973

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