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Reply #150


Response to karynnj (Reply #149)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 05:30 PM

150. The USA should really protect whistleblowers.

But over and over we see that they don't. Remember the guy who blew the whistle on a bank in Switzerland. He was convicted. Remember the guy who blew the whistle on torture. He was convicted.

And several NSA whistleblowers have been harassed and had their lives ruined.

If we don't give real protection to whistleblowers and immunity from prosecution when appropriate not in the eyes of the Justice Department but perhaps of a truly objective, lay (unpaid) commission (say of former public defense attorneys) to whistleblowers, we are protecting corruption and crime within our government.

I think that Snowden did a very brave thing. It is easy to nit-pick and criticize, but it took a lot of courage to do what he did.

Remember, a couple of senators warned that the FISA system was overstepping before Snowden stepped forward. So, his conduct is not unwarranted. The evidence strongly supports the claim that there have been serious abuses.

I do not blame Obama. The NSA has been a growing problem since the post-WWII period. Like any bureaucracy, they have to justify their existence. And they want an ever bigger budget. It's sad, but that is the way bureaucracies, whether in the government or in the private sector work.

Another huge problem with our intelligence services is that they, perhaps necessarily, employ private contractors and are closely aligned with private corporations. That means that their employees enjoy fewer protections than they would if they were government civil service employees. It also means that it is harder for Congress to do the oversight it needs to do, and it also means that we citizens have a harder time getting recourse if they violate our constitutional rights. In fact it makes it harder for us to know whether they violate our rights.

I think that any government contractor should be required to respect the constitutional rights of any people who deal with it or are employed by it.

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