Obama’s Unprecedented Crackdown on Whistleblowers

Secrecy News has a post up on John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer being charged under the Espionage Act for contributing to the exposure of state crimes:

In the present case, Mr. Kiriakou is charged with providing the name of a “covert agent” in response to inquiries from a reporter, “Journalist A,” who then passed that information on to defense attorneys at Guantanamo.  (The attorneys used the information in a classified pleading that they filed in 2009, which is what first brought the unauthorized disclosure to official attention.)

An FBI affidavit attached to the criminal complaint against Kiriakou states repeatedly that no laws were broken by the defense team that received the classified information.  The FBI notably does not volunteer the same assurance concerning Journalist A (whose name is not yet on the public record), who actively solicited the proscribed information from Kiriakou and forwarded it to the defense attorneys.

…Mr. Kiriakou is the sixth individual to be charged in the Obama Administration’s unprecedented campaign against leaks of classified information to the media, following Shamai LeibowitzJeffrey SterlingThomas DrakeBradley Manning and Stephen Kim.  Among other things, the Administration’s aggressive pursuit of leaks represents a challenge to the practice of national security reporting, which depends on the availability of unauthorized sources if it is to produce something more than “authorized” news.

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  • The FBI notably does not volunteer the same assurance concerning Journalist A (whose name is not yet on the public record), who actively solicited the proscribed information from Kiriakou and forwarded it to the defense attorneys.

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