[QODLink]
Listening Post

Blowing the whistle on Obama's America

Do the threats facing whistleblowers under Obama's presidency mean Americans know less about what their government does?
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2013 10:40

This week: A Listening Post special - Whistleblowing and the US media.

On the campaign trail four years ago, US presidential candidate Barack Obama shared his views on whistleblowers. He said: "Often the best source of information about waste, fraud and abuse in government is a government employee committed to public integrity, willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism ... should be encouraged rather than stifled."

As president, the reality has been very different. During his first term in office, six whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information. That is twice as many as all previous presidents combined.

The threat facing whistleblowers has implications in many areas, including defence, intelligence and national security. And then there is the impact it is having on the US media: In a digital age, where electronic paper trails are hard to hide, journalists are no longer able to guarantee their sources' anonymity. And if the sources dry up, so do the stories and the American people are left knowing less and less about what their government is doing.

In the first half of this full edition special, we blow the whistle on President Obama's America.

Jesselyn Radack is a lawyer who worked as an ethics adviser for the US Department of Justice. In 2001, Radack revealed that the FBI questioned John Walker Lindh - 'the American Taliban' - illegally and that his so-called confession might not stand up in a court of law. Radack was heavily criticised and became the target of a Federal criminal 'leak investigation'. After a year she resigned.

In the second half of the show, Radack talks to us about the impact whistleblowing has had on US journalism and what news organisations are doing about it.

 
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.

376

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A former rebel's museum keeps alive memories of the July 26, 1953 veterans who launched Cuba's revolution.
A revolutionary new treatment is halving hospitalisation rates for severe asthma sufferers.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
join our mailing list