War on whistleblowers
War on journalists
US ‘waging war’ on whistleblowers
The American government “is using its power to intimidate, prosecute and prevent government employees from sharing information about state officials’ misconduct”, insists Stephen Kohn, attorney and author of The Whistleblower’s Handbook.
This attack on whistleblowers in America is an attack on fundamental freedom of speech, “preventing the American people from learning about the abuses of their government,” warned the attorney.
“The doctrine of the state secret privilege in the US puts a censorship veil over everything you want to blow a whistle on.”
Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou, who was the first official to confirm the waterboarding of terrorist suspects, has been indicted for repeatedly disclosing sensitive information to journalists.
The same law was also used against whistleblower Bradley Manning, the army private who handed secret documents to Wikileaks.
Both cases go against the very basics of the US constitution, says Stephen Kohn.
“The First Amendment was enacted to prevent precisely what we’re seen unfolding today. People in the government witness abuses and they have a right to blow the whistle on them,” Kohn points out. “We are challenging the legal predicates that they have used to prosecute and suppress throughout this country. We are challenging them because they are illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.
“It is government misconduct that the government wants to suppress the public ever learning about. It is the heart of the First Amendment,” Kohn continued, explaining that “the core of the First Amendment is the protection of the people who want to expose the misconduct of government.”