Since entering office, DOJ Eric Holder has prosecuted our own CIA officials, lawyers in the Bush administration, and whistle blowers as spies, making no distinction between speaking with reporters and spying on our government. Bloomberg reported that he has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.
Holder makes no distinction between actual spies and people “having conversations and discussions,” according to Abbe Lowell, lawyer for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged by Holder under this act.
Holder is clamping down on free speech and the free press by prosecuting whistleblowers who might speak with reporters in a way that does not promote the administration.
It is ironic in that this administration has leaked secrets on the Osama bin Laden raid to the NY Times and to an author of the book on the raid. He told the world that SEAL Team 6 executed the raid and shortly thereafter a Blackhawk was taken down in Pakistan with 16 SEAL Team members on it. There is no direct line between the two events that we know of, but there could be because of him, and that is the point.
This administration appears to be leaking information about the Benghazi raid that is helpful to the administration, according to Congressman Mike Rogers, but they won’t hand over the video of the actual raid to Congress.
Some of the prosecutions Holder has defended on national security grounds are cases of government officials who spoke to the media and then faced financial and professional ruin as they try to defend themselves and keep their freedom.
Yet, in the case of the New Black Panthers, Holder refused to prosecute despite overwhelming evidence that they were guilty of voter intimidation. One DOJ attorney quit and now works for Heritage, a conservative think tank. His reason for leaving is Holder made it clear that there would be no prosecutions of African-Americans, no matter what. Fairness is not what is coming out of this DOJ.
Stephen Kim is a good example of the type of abuse that is coming out of this administration and its Justice Department. Kim, a man with an Ivy League education and a distinguished career, spoke with a reporter about N. Korea’s nuclear weapons program and within a year he was indicted for disclosing classified information and making false statements.
Interestingly, Kim is one of five people who went after the DOJ for alleged leaks of classified information to the news media. Kim’s superiors arranged for him to meet with a reporter to discuss N.Korea’s nuclear program. Kim then formed a relationship with the reporter and initially lied about it. That was the impetus for a prosecution on the basis of espionage. Kim’s personal life and career are ruined.
Holder insists he does not target whistle-blowers. Holder has submitted a directive to the Senate which allegedly protects executive-branch employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, or abuse through official channels but it does not include media reps who could actually disclose the whistle-blowers information.
In other words, blow the whistle, but it better be kept within the government and not to the press if you want to stay out of jail.
Some see the prosecutions as a way for the Obama administration to go after reporters…
“They want to destroy you personally,” said Thomas Drake, a senior National Security Agency employee prosecuted in 2010 by Obama’s Justice Department under the Espionage Act. The message to government workers seeking to expose waste, fraud and abuse is “see nothing, say nothing, don’t speak out — otherwise we’ll hammer you,” he said.
Drake faced 10 felony counts in connection to an allegation that he shared classified information with a reporter. He was linked to a report in the Baltimore Sun about inefficiencies and cost over-runs in an NSA surveillance program that was later abandoned.
The case against Drake collapsed last year before trial after he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and the government dropped the more serious charges that could have sent him to jail for 35 years…
…The prosecution was meant to “make me an object lesson and to send the most chilling message,” said Drake, who is adamant that he never handed over any classified information. “I was essentially bankrupted, blacklisted and blackballed. I was turned into damaged goods.”…Read the full story at Bloomberg…