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Tue Jul 30, 2013, 04:20 PM

In honor of Bradley Manning: "Revealers of government secrets share how their lives have changed"

Yesterday's Washington Post featured a long piece looking at the lives of recent whistle-blowers. Unlike Manning, they didn't spend time behind bars. But their livelihoods, sometimes their families - sometimes their lives - were destroyed.

Many names will be familiar: Thomas Drake, Sibel Edmonds - people who were heroes here at DU for exposing government wrongdoing.

May we honor the whistle-blowers - and their courage in the face of the huge price they pay - risking it all to reveal what the government is doing in our name - the secrets, the lies, the wrongdoing that threaten the very fabric of our democracy.


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After the whistle: Revealers of government secrets share how their lives have changed

By Emily Wax, Published: July 28

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Peter Van Buren, a veteran Foreign Service officer who blew the whistle on waste and mismanagement of the Iraq reconstruction program, most recently found himself working at a local arts and crafts store and learned a lot about “glitter and the American art of scrapbooking.”

“What happens when you are thrown out of the government and blacklisted is that you lose your security clearance and it’s very difficult to find a grown-up job in Washington,” said Van Buren, who lives in Falls Church and wrote the book “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.” “Then, you have to step down a few levels to find a place where they don’t care enough about your background to even look into why you washed up there.”

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“Let’s sit in the back,” Thomas Drake says when choosing a booth at Parker’s Classic American Restaurant in downtown Bethesda during his lunch break from Apple. “I have a lot to say. I was a public servant. That’s a very high honor. It’s supposed to mean something.”

Drake was prosecuted under the World War I-era Espionage Act for mishandling national defense information. His alleged crime: voicing concernsto superiors after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks about violations of Americans’ privacy by the nation’s largest intelligence organization (the NSA) and later, in frustration, speaking to a reporter about waste and fraud in the NSA intelligence program. (He says he revealed no classified information.)

He lost his $155,000-a-year job and pension, even though in 2011 the criminal case against him fell apart. The former top spokesman for the Justice Department, Matthew Miller, later said the case against Drake may have been an “ill-considered choice for prosecution.”

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Sibel Edmonds was once described by the American Civil Liberties Union as “the most gagged person in the history of the United States.” And she was a regular on Washington’s protest circuit.

She was fired from her work as a translator at the FBI for trying to expose security breaches and cover-ups that she thought presented a danger to U.S. security. Her allegations were supported and confirmed by the Justice Department’s inspector general office and bipartisan congressional investigations, but she was not offered her job back.

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Much more at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/after-the-whistle-revealers-of-government-secrets-share-how-their-lives-have-changed/2013/07/28/23d82596-f613-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html

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Reply In honor of Bradley Manning: "Revealers of government secrets share how their lives have changed" (Original post)
chimpymustgo Jul 2013 OP
think Jul 2013 #1
Hydra Jul 2013 #2
chimpymustgo Jul 2013 #3
Hydra Jul 2013 #4

Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 04:28 PM

1. K&R

 

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Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 04:37 PM

2. Something is very wrong

When speech, especially speech highlighting gov't crimes, is criminalized.

This is the kind of crap we were told the USSR did to their people, and why we needed to fight them. Were we, all along, the same kind of country...but flew a different flag?

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Response to Hydra (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 07:49 PM

3. Speech and journalism are being criminalized.

What have we become?

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Response to chimpymustgo (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 07:50 PM

4. If this plan of theirs works, a nation of pure silence

Broken up by the constant background noise of propaganda.

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