War on Whistleblowers (featuring Edward Snowden and David Carr) 2015

I want you to blow the whistle

Image by mike via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Brave New Films on Feb 23, 2015

War on Whistleblowers highlights recent cases where American government employees and contractors took to the media to expose fraud and abuse. In all cases the whistle-blowing was to the detriment of their professional and personal lives.

With President Obama’s commitment to transparency and the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, there was hope that whistleblowers would finally have more protection and encouragement to speak up. But according to the film, times have never been worse for national security whistleblowers. Obama’s administration has attacked more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.

2:30 After the death of Major Megan McClung who was killed by an IED while riding in a Humvee, Franz Gayl asked himself, “If not me, then who? If not now then when?” Gayl blew the whistle on the Military Industry who were dragging their feet to provide MRAPS, a vehicle that could replace the Humvee and prevent unnecessary casualties amongst American Soldiers in Irag.

11:53 “Why didn’t they do the right thing?” , asks Gayl. It comes down to money and reputations. The Humvee, though not the safest choice for our soldiers, is backed by millions of dollars and powerful lobbying. Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of the National taxpayers Union stresses the need for more accountability in our spending.

13:18 The more powerful our National Security State becomes, the greater the need for Whistle Blowers and as our need for Whistle Blowers has increased, so has the aggression towards and attacks on them via the Obama Administration.

“We talk about a National Security State that pretends it’s interested in our National Security when in fact it’s interested in the security of corporate interests, of agency interests, of politicians keeping their jobs…”
-Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower

16:24 Meet Thomas Drake, Former Senior Executive of the NSA. WhistleBlower.

18:23 Meet Michael Dekort, Former Lead Systems Engineer of the Deepwater Program. Whistleblower.

20:40 Meet Thomas Tamm, Former Attorney in the Department of Justice. WhistleBlower.

23:21 Hear how Drake, Dekort and Tamm arrived at their fateful decisions to brave the risk and blow the whistle.

“…we nickname whistleblowing the sound of professional suicide.”
Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project

32:26 Michael Dekort uses YouTube as a last resort tactic to be heard. It worked.

35:26 Drake recounts the day they came for him, the charges made against him and the severity of punishments he faced under the Espionage Act.
“I met the Chief prosecutor at a secret FBI facility in Maryland where the prosecutor threatened me with spending the rest of my life in prison…”
-Thomas Drake

39:55 The Obama administration began with promises of transparency and accountability to the American people, yet turned very quickly in to an administration that has cracked down on Whistleblowers harder than any other. Thomas Tamm also finds himself charged under the Espionage Act.

44:55 Jesselyn Radack writes an article in the L.A times on behalf of Thomas Drake calling attention to the differences between “leaking” and “whistleblowing”. The tide turns for Drake who begins to receive long overdue recognition for telling the truth.

47:10 Thomas Tamm recalls his moment to speak and be heard in the press.

51:12 It’s a bittersweet moment when Thomas Drake is vindicated.

52:49 The Obama administration prosecutes, prosecutes, prosecutes some more.

“Efforts to target me have continued under the Obama administration which has been aggressively investigating whistleblowers in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States.”
-James Risen

55:07 The government uses selective leaking to release only the stories that cast them in a good light.

What kind of nation are we becoming? Edward Snowden encourages us to decide what kind of contribution we will make together, not just by saying, but by doing.

see

Rocket Kirchner: My View of Snowden

Edward Snowden Receives The Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize)

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15 thoughts on “War on Whistleblowers (featuring Edward Snowden and David Carr) 2015

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    • Snowden is to good a man to be president, America is unworthy of such a individual. What America needs as a president is a candidate such as Al Capone, the CIA and others could only endorse the corrupt.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this, actually, I relished it; what an indictment, what a heads up! What a disgrace, President Obama.

    Bravo to Brave New Films for really getting the message across with consummate force and maximum integrity.

    My conclusion is this: the United States Government has abrogated any right to dictate the terms of authority that should exemplify best practice to the rest of the world.

    The US Fourth Estate on the other hand, is demonstrating exemplary conduct in how it deals with power and these vulgar hegemonic capital interests. We need to reconceptualise the moral compass of the entire global enterprise, in coherent terms fit to meet the dire needs of a world that is teetering at the very brink of catastrophic disaster.

    Personally, i do not think we have experienced any time as grave as this since the looming and actually, in hindsight, unprecedented threat of immolation, brought on by the Cuban Missile crisis. Islamic State, so-called, whatever its true provenance, is now poised to unleash probable apocalyptic damage, of incalculable risk to all life.

    If these PNAC imbeciles do not begin, immediately, to crawl down from their pinnacles of hubris and face this reality voluntarily, then we shall have to find some strategically viable means of disabusing them of their lunatic conceits, before the consequences of their astonishing ignorance prove too abysmal to warrant intelligent remedial correction.

  6. I share your bemusement, dw.

    The only way I can make any sense of this orgy of spiralling extravagance that seems to create nothing but misery, is to turn it around and consider the credit side of this preposterous equation. Debt only exists where there is credit, supposedly.

    So logically speaking we are all living on “borrowed time” and must pay it all back eventually, at least in theory, or when when we die in practice. That’s a literal mortgage, for sure; a strictly ecological contract.

    Only the problem with bankers’ money, is it always exists in some form, and never actually disappears or dissolves back to its source, even in the case of default; because it simply gets written off, and no-one cares because it never really existed in the first place. It all gets “adjusted” and absorbed so that the grim game goes on ~ only always at the expense of nature and innocent folk, the victims whose sweat & natural assets have been exploited, appropriated, pillaged, poisoned, destroyed or generally degraded.

    Where I think the whole ridiculous charade breaks down completely, is over the issue of value. Money is not linked to authentic value, or “life value” as John McMurtry calls it. It is solely about deprivation, theft and symbolic gain by illicit means. Within our financial systems we find occasional ethical examples of currencies and credit, being wisely deployed, but the big planetary pool of abstract wealth is not wealth at all in any sense of the meaning of the word; where wealth corresponds to true well-being, virtuous existence or planetary stewardship.

    Our suffering world is adrift in a chaotic ocean of endemic and hereditary piracy. Plunder is the “golden” rule, and violence is its principle means, rape being its most respected agency. It is a lawless planet where the biggest bully controls the most stock, controls the assets and deprives others of their rightful legacy of inherited natural wealth..

    Those individuals with the greatest imagination and the most generosity of spirit are condemned and vilified as superfluous obstacles to progress; consigned brutally to lives of imposed neglect, ostracism and penury, unless they conform and comply with the established “norm,” surrender their spiritual sovereignty and abandon their moral estate by condoning the agendas of the egregious psychopaths.

    The only way we shall ever change this horror story, awaken from the nightmare of oppressive privilege and abuses of power, is to assume total responsibility ourselves for our own destiny, and resist with all our might the injustices of a cruel and malignant caste of criminal overlords who only value their own venal ambition, myopic greed & inflated sense of self-serving cosmic importance.

    • So true, David.

      Using a local currency or setting one up in your own town/city is an idea. In the US the coins are “real” money/currency so using coins as much as possible helps. But you are right, every single dollar bill is based on debt. Personally I prefer barter/trade and freely giving of time and objects so no money at all being exchanged.

      • Yes I agree. I was involved with a timebank scheme recently that did not catch on, have to admit I was sceptical, & it didn’t fit the bill, no uptake & too much prescriptive online infrastructure… complicated and over-ambitious.

        There is definitely a place for these schemes, where the conditions are right ~ 20 yrs ago I was instrumental in setting up a LETS (local exchange and trading system) that lasted a few years, but it eventually dwindled as you need a critical mass of participants with a broad range of skills to keep it going.

  7. When I looked up American debt, it was around 15 trillion dollars, in the past few days I checked the American debt, it is now around 18 trillion dollars, my concern of our Australian debt, being take your pick, 125 billion to varied amounts above this figure, I having attempted to understand what the debt is about, one analysis is that America will never pay back the debt? how is this possible? now we look at the Greece debt this becomes another strange part of the problem in so far as the way out for the Greek malaise as a solution is to embark upon poverty? Britain to 1957, the British were on a allocation of rationing to pay back America the British war debt, Germany had the luxury of money to set up Germany after the war? here in Australia, the population are constantly informed of the debt of future generations having to pay? as their are so many intelligent and knowledgeable people who are well informed reading this blog, can someone inform a lesser enlightened person such as myself guide me through this maize of unknowing?

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