Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: Is NSA Leaker a Hero or Traitor?
Hundreds of media outlets produced stories on Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who exposed the massive surveillance program PRISM that infringes upon American citizens’ privacy. GAP and our clients have been instrumental throughout the reporting process, providing numerous interviews, insights and definitions for television, radio and newspaper stories around the world. The scale of Snowden’s disclosure has led numerous whistleblowers, including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, to call it the most monumental in American history. GAP clients and NSA whistleblowers Tom Drake, Bill Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe along with GAP’s National Security & Human Rights department (Director Jesselyn Radack and Counsel Kathleen McClellan) have also been prominently featured in outlets – the BBC, Piers Morgan, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, to name just a few – illustrating the historical importance of Snowden’s actions.
Edward Snowden, who left his home in Hawaii for a hotel room in Hong Kong when he made his disclosures, is now seriously considering asylum in Iceland, a country known for its protection of free-speech and privacy rights and where he has at least one supporter within the Parliament already. Getting into the country from Hong Kong to begin the asylum process, however, will pose serious difficulties for the high-profile whistleblower.
Key Quotes (Reuters): “What he found with the program was that it did massive, sweeping dragnet surveillance with people who were under no suspicion whatsoever. Normally you would go to court and get a probably cause warrant because you think a foreign terrorist may be doing something illegal. To turn these laws and… use them against American who have done nothing … I think a lot of people feel violated by that and they should.” - GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack.
(Time): ... Snowden should be protected by a federal whistle-blower statute, since he “said very clearly … that he was doing this to serve a public purpose.” – GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack.
(Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer): It’s more a question of whether the Government broke the law when they spied on millions of Americans who had done nothing wrong… Unfortunately those legal channels that Mr. Toobin referenced are not effective. You can ask other NSA whistleblwoers that are clients of ours at the Government Accountability Project, Thomas Drake, J. Kirk Wiebe and William Binney who raised concerns years ago about this same exact type of surveillance. Not only were their concerns ignored but the government prosecuted them. – GAP National Security & Human Rights Counsel Kathleen McClellan
(Voice of America): He is a whistleblower and it was an incredibly brave, well thought out, risky action that he took for the benefit of the people in this country so I can’t think of a better definition of a hero…the laws have been clearly broken and he definitely reveals information that reveals massive waste abuse and patent illegality on a grand scale that I have not seen in a long time.” – GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack
(FireDogLake): “You can ask some other NSA whistleblowers that are clients of ours at the Government Accountability Project, Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe, who raised concerns years ago about this same exact kind of surveillance. And not only were their concerns ignored, but the government prosecuted them, criminally investigated all of them, and prosecuting Mr. Drake under the Espionage Act.” – GAP National Security & Human Rights Counsel Kathleen McClellan
(RT: The Big Picture): The disclosures from Edward were not a surprise to me because my client, Thomas Drake… revealed embryonic versions of what later became PRISM. [They] have been on the lecture circuit talking about this for the last few years. – GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack
(Scientific American): What does NSA need with a 100 million phone records? We are losing the foundation of innocence until proven guilt. The assumption of innocence no longer exists in a surveillance state…we are all foreigners now. To me that’s crossing over into a form of governance that is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. We are eroding a foundational part of this country. The important distinction is the law that exists right now allows the government with some [limitations—] at least on paper—to collect all meta-data without any particularized suspicion on someone without getting a warrant for someone. – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Tom Drake
(NPR): For a more technical definition of whistle-blower, let's turn to the nonprofit Government Accountability Project, which advocates on their behalf. Here's how the organization defines a whistle-blower, using state, federal and international cases:
"An employee who discloses information that s/he reasonably believes is evidence of illegality, gross waste or fraud, mismanagement, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. Typically, whistleblowers speak out to parties that can influence and rectify the situation. These parties include the media, organizational managers, hotlines, or Congressional members/staff, to name a few."
(Lou Dobbs Tonight): Simply, it’s twelve years later of what was already started in the post 9/11 security space… The question is do we trust what the government says? We certainly couldn’t trust them after 9/11 because they were in direct violation of the fourth amendment. Do we really want the government having this much information or the temptation to go trolling and diving for other information? – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Tom Drake
(TribLive): “That's what everyone needs to understand. The NSA's programs didn't start out so eerie and Orwellian ... The program that they would've been using, if they hadn't canceled it, was cheaper, more efficient and didn't trample on anyone's constitutional rights.” – GAP National Security & Human Rights Counsel Kathleen McClellan.
(Salon): “Most whistle-blowers deeply believe in their organization and are speaking out to defend it against mistakes which could backfire.” A few might be “type A personalities” spoiling for a fight ... but “most whistle-blowers are trying to honor their professional responsibilities.” He added, “the ideological breadth of whistle-blowers is virtually unlimited. We have the most conservative clients at GAP as well as those who are more radical activists.” – GAP Legal Director Tom Devine.
(The Guardian): I applaud Snowden. He is brave, courageous and clearly has a strong moral compass. But it is an incredibly isolating process. Most people don't wake up saying, "I'm going to be a whistleblower today". They struggle with it. It is a crisis of conscience.
– GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack
(Mother Jones): Gov't is no doubt apoplectic behind the scenes - not just with w'blower but also with reporter and have already launched a major criminal investigation. The info from Prism was increasingly showing up in the PDB [the President's Daily Brief, the top-secret and selective intelligence report he receives each morning].They will move shadows and shades to identify the w'blower and turn the surveillance system inside out to find and fry him. – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Tom Drake.
(Huckabee): It is extremely tempting to do so, especially when you have access to all of that information … an index of your individual life … right now there’s no controls at all… it’s all in secret. – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Tom Drake
(Fox News) I call him a whistleblower, it’s an extraordinary act of civil disobedience. He exposed the pandora’s box of the leviathan surveillance state.” – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Tom Drake
(USA Today): "I haven't seen this level of public discussion about what the government is doing since 9/11 ... People are talking about it at Starbucks, at the diner." – GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack.
(Democracy Now!): “They’re using a target list I’m sure to target people they want to record and transcribe… they route that audio to recorders and put on a priority list and that get’s transcribed…They’re not going to change the way they operate just because it comes out in the US press…The government here is not trying to protect it from the terrorist they’re trying to protect that information from the citizens of the United States” – NSA whistleblower/GAP client Bill Binney
(Glenn Beck): “I think I can say that the whole program started emid to late October 2001 and it started by just pulling the various phone records of US citizens making phone calls in the entire world and in the united states. That totaled 3 billion phone calls every day … Who you talked to daily or how you interact with them was being recorded so you could like at a timeline to see how you interact with others. “ – NSA Whistleblower/GAP Client Bill Binney
Snowden Misdirection: Talking Heads Shoot the Messenger
GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack analyzes journalists’ attacks on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s character as a means of bypassing the real issue at hand – the US government’s massive domestic surveillance scheme.
Naked Capitalism: Mary Jo White Institutionalizes Deutsche Bank Protection Racket at the SEC
More press outlets are picking up on the revolving door between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the executive offices of Deutsche Bank. Recently, Robert Rice, a former head of governance, litigation and regulation for the Bank, joined the watchdog agency as a counsel, even as the agency investigates claims made by GAP client Eric Ben-Artzi that allege massive wrongdoing on the scale of billions of dollars while Rice oversaw Bank activities.
Related Articles: Value Walk, The Hill, Seeking Alpha
Ag Gag Petition and Extended Coverage on TakePart
GAP's Food Integrity Campaign recaps recent coverage of anti-whistleblower Ag Gag legislation focusing on the debate of undercover video and the public image of the meat industry. GAP has also launched a petition telling Congress why these bills are a threat to truth-telling and transparency in the food system. Sign the petition here.