Speigel Online is today releasing an interview with Daniel Ellsberg in which Ellsberg criticizes the Obama administration for increasing the use of criminal prosecutions against whistleblowers. Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers to reveal how numerous previous administrations had resorted to lying to the American people to conceal the real purposes of the Vietnam War. The Nixon Administration’s prosecution of Ellsberg ended in dismissal after the infamous White House plumbers broke into the offices of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist to steal records about Ellsberg’s treatment.
In the Speigel Online interview Ellsberg says this about the prosecution of Thomas Drake:
For Obama to indict and prosecute Drake now, for acts undertaken and investigated during the Bush administration, is to do precisely what Obama said he did not mean to do — "look backward." Of all the blatantly criminal acts committed under Bush, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, aggression, torture, Obama now prosecutes only the revelation of massive waste by the NSA, a socially useful act which the Bush administration itself investigated but did not choose to indict or prosecute!
Bush brought no indictments against whistleblowers, though he suspended Drake’s clearance. Obama, in this and other matters relating to secrecy and whistleblowing, is doing worse than Bush.
Science journalist Ed Brayton cheers on Ellsberg in this blog.