FDL’s Gosztola Takes on Obama & the Assault on Transparency-Government Whistleblowers

The Toothless Nature of Obama’s Recent Directive is No Accident or Mistake

toothlessLast Friday, Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola took on Obama and his NGO entourages in Washington on the administration’s recent cosmetic and toothless directive to provide an appearance of protection for government whistleblowers. As always, Mr. Gosztola aces the subject through a well-supported and very well-reasoned argument:

President Barack Obama has issued a directive that appears to finally provide whistleblower protections for intelligence agency employees in government. The directive declares employees able to access classified information “can effectively report waste, fraud and abuse while protecting classified national security information.” It also includes a “prohibition” against retaliation against employees, who report “waste, fraud and abuse.”

…the more than two thousand words in this presidential directive are just that: words. It is an acknowledgment that there is a problem. It puts a general belief the president has that national security whistleblowers should have some semblance of rights in writing. But, it does not offer a way for whistleblowers to challenge the decision of an agency to fire them in court.

The directive comes less than thirty days before Election Day. The Obama 2012 campaign and its supporters like to talk about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and how he keeps pushing the reset button so he can get around scrutiny. Here Obama is pushing the reset button. He is asking critics of his war on whistleblowers to silence themselves at least until after the election.

Gosztola sums up his astute analysis by stating the following facts:

The toothless nature of the directive is no accident or mistake. Congress failing to pass whistleblower protection that afforded protections to intelligence employees was coordinated with the White House.

Obama has no intention of challenging the secrecy culture in intelligence agencies that creates a work environment that enables corruption. These agencies do not want whistleblowers talking anymore than Obama wants people from his White House talking. The agencies and Obama do not want to have to address corruption because it interrupts the continuity of government. And so, all they can put forward is a cosmetic measure that is purely a window-dressing effort designed to make it look like the issue has been properly addressed.

I strongly urge you to read the entire analysis of this lame directive. As I’ve said before, outside the small circle of government whistleblowers and a handful of legal experts, Mr. Gosztola is the only analyst-reporter with credence when it comes to legal and political realities involving government whistleblowers. Kudos to you Kevin Gosztola!

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Comments

  1. The linked firedog blog post says the following:

    As Stephen M. Kohn, NWC executive director, concluded, “The Directive fails to provide whistleblowers with any new enforceable legal rights. In fact, the Directive specifically states that it does not ‘create any right or benefit’ for whistleblowers. This section renders the Directive toothless. We are concerned that national security employees may think that this Directive gives them some much-needed protections when it does not.”

    I wonder if the concern should not be that the national security employee will falsely believe in so called protections, but they will indeed see the ploy and recognize the psyop propaganda as an actual strategic move against them. To intentionally mislead the public seems like a clever way to send a message to the would be whistle blower to

  2. remain silent by demonstrating the government’s ability to subtly yet openly demonstrate corruption within a declaration meant to curb corruption.

    BTW, Sibel, just heard your name mentioned in Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed’s documentary The Crisis of Civilization. I thought the film was a bit light on detail, but did bring together some important issues to suggest deep systemic problems we are facing politically, economically, and environmentally.

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