'The most transparent administration in history' comes down hard on leakers

There is something pathetically childlike in the Obama administration's realization that all their "good liberal government" goals - things they've been saying for 30 years that once they were in charge, things would be different - have been tossed under the bus as the cold, hard facts of governing in a dangerous world hit home.

This piece in Politico about how the administration is coming down on government leakers is instructive in this regard:

In just over two years since President Barack Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. And the government is now mulling what would be the most high-profile case of them all - prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

That's a sharp break from recent history, when the U.S. government brought such cases on three occasions in roughly 40 years.
The government insists it's only pursuing individuals who act with reckless disregard for national security, and that it has an obligation to protect the nation's most sensitive secrets from being revealed. Anyone seeking to expose malfeasance has ample opportunity to do so through proper channels, government lawyers say.

But legal experts and good-government advocates say the hard-line approach to leaks has a chilling effect on whistleblowers, who fear harsh legal reprisals if they dare to speak up.

As if it could be any other way in the real world. Leaks can damage national security, but beyond that, they can damage the political plans of an administration. Once that realization sets in, all the best intentions in the world go out the window as the search for the leaker gets underway.

I don't fault the Obama administration for going after those who leak for self-aggrandizement or as a  way of getting revenge on a superior. History shows that those reasons are at the bottom of why many leaks occur and have nothing to do with "whistleblowing" or exposing corruption.

I fault them for their naivete and arrogant assertions that they would be better than anyone else. It is satisfying to see them eating their words.





There is something pathetically childlike in the Obama administration's realization that all their "good liberal government" goals - things they've been saying for 30 years that once they were in charge, things would be different - have been tossed under the bus as the cold, hard facts of governing in a dangerous world hit home.

This piece in Politico about how the administration is coming down on government leakers is instructive in this regard:

In just over two years since President Barack Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. And the government is now mulling what would be the most high-profile case of them all - prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

That's a sharp break from recent history, when the U.S. government brought such cases on three occasions in roughly 40 years.

The government insists it's only pursuing individuals who act with reckless disregard for national security, and that it has an obligation to protect the nation's most sensitive secrets from being revealed. Anyone seeking to expose malfeasance has ample opportunity to do so through proper channels, government lawyers say.

But legal experts and good-government advocates say the hard-line approach to leaks has a chilling effect on whistleblowers, who fear harsh legal reprisals if they dare to speak up.

As if it could be any other way in the real world. Leaks can damage national security, but beyond that, they can damage the political plans of an administration. Once that realization sets in, all the best intentions in the world go out the window as the search for the leaker gets underway.

I don't fault the Obama administration for going after those who leak for self-aggrandizement or as a  way of getting revenge on a superior. History shows that those reasons are at the bottom of why many leaks occur and have nothing to do with "whistleblowing" or exposing corruption.

I fault them for their naivete and arrogant assertions that they would be better than anyone else. It is satisfying to see them eating their words.





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