Obama rhetoric on whistle-blowers doesn’t match reality
Administration’s crackdown on whistle-blowers continues
September 21, 2011. By the Bradley Manning Support Network.
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama claimed in remarks yesterday that the United States is working to “expand protections for whistle-blowers”, as part of an “Open Government Initiative.” Meanwhile his Administration continues an unprecedented crackdown on government whistle-blowers, pursuing five cases since taking office, including the prosecution of PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
In remarks about government transparency and freedom of information, the President mentioned whistle-blowers specifically: “We’ll work to reform and expand protections for whistle-blowers who expose government waste, fraud and abuse.”
“President Obama’s rhetoric doesn’t match up with his Administration’s unprecedented campaign to prosecute alleged whistle-blowers like PFC Bradley Manning,” said Kevin Zeese, an attorney with the Bradley Manning Support Network. “While Obama lauds hypothetical whistle-blowers, an Army private who is accused of blowing the whistle on illegal government actions is now in his 16th month of confinement. Bradley Manning is an alleged whistle-blower whose case the whole world is watching!”
PFC Bradley Manning has been held for nearly 16 months in pretrial detention. The information Manning is accused of releasing includes video of the killing of Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists, as well as diplomatic cables that have embarrassed governments and corporations around the world. The Bradley Manning Support Network raises funds for PFC Manning’s legal defense and conducts public outreach to support him. Organizers are preparing to launch a series of public protests if the Obama Administration continues to pursue charges against Manning through the military justice system.
President Obama’s full statement is available here: