Obama administration has secured 526 months of jail time for leakers


Up until Obama's "most transparent administration", and throughout the entire history of the USA, national security leakers had received a total of 24 months of jail time. There are many more cases pending.

James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He's also currently under subpoena, possibly facing jail time, because of his reporting. Specifically, he's being investigated because of an article on a CIA ploy to hinder Iran's quest for a nuclear bomb that went epically sideways and may have actually helped Iran along. 60 Minutes ran a great story on him this weekend, during which they cited a well-known statistic: the Obama administration has prosecuted more national security "leakers" than all other presidencies combined, eight to three.

But the story also prompted me to look into another figure, which is less well known and potentially more dramatic. Partially because of press freedom concerns, sentencing in media leak cases has historically been relatively light. Not so under President Obama. When it comes to sending these folks to jail, the Obama administration blows every other presidency combined out of the water – by a lot.

By my count, the Obama administration has secured 526 months of prison time for national security leakers, versus only 24 months total jail time for everyone else since the American Revolution. It's important – and telling – to note that the bulk of that time is the 35 years in Fort Leavenworth handed down to Chelsea Manning.

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?) [ACLU]

Notable Replies

  1. dacree says:

    What was the crime? Oh yeah, exposing illegal activities of the federal government under the administration of someone who promised to be transparent and protect the whistleblowers. Those crimes? And I thought they were courageous patriots.

    Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
    change.gov - agenda - ethics

  2. Why is it people think Obama was the one who was supposed to be doing the changing? The whole fucking point of his "change" thing was that the people should get off their asses and start organizing and petitioning and electing people to implement the changes they want.

  3. aikimo says:

    Maybe because he promised to?

    http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/

    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

  4. Yeah, I remember his campaign slogan: "Elect me if you want to change things yourself by activities other than electing me, because I'm not going to do shit." That especially resonated with the youth.

    You mean... elect people like... OBAMA? Or elect other people who won't change anything because they weren't elected to change things, they were elected so that people could elect people to change things.

    Holy christ!

  5. dacree says:

    Cool Cool Cool. Perhaps you can point out one of the names on the list as a person who aided an enemy, any foreign power, or any foreign national.

    Thomas Drake: Revealed waste
    Shamai Leibowitz: revealed U.S. spying against Israeli diplomat
    Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks.
    John Kiriakou: revealed the secret CIA torture program.
    Donald Sachtleben: disclosed details of a disrupted Yemen-based bomb plot
    Stephen Kim: disclosed information about North Korea's plans to test a nuclear bomb
    Jeffrey Sterling: Alleged to have been James Risen's source.
    Edward Snowden: Revealed secret law allowing wholesale, covert surveillance of innocent people by the NSA.

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