Why has the Justice Department chosen to pursue these cases while leaks happen every day that go unpunished? The reckless use of the Espionage Act has nothing to do with protecting national security, as the administration has claimed again and again. It’s entirely about making sure that the only leaks that happen are the ones approved by those at the top — the kind that keep everything looking fine. The message being sent to would-be whistleblowers is clear: If your leak starts to sink the presidential ship, you should be prepared for blowback.
Last week, Romney attacked Obama, saying that his administration has allowed — or is responsible for — leaks that benefit him politically. Regardless of its involvement in recent leaks, the administration has made it clear that it views whistleblowing as “acts of courage and patriotism [that] should be encouraged rather than stifled” only when those acts paint the government in a positive light.
Brian Kelly is a freelance writer, the Assistant Editor at The New Criterion, and a recent graduate of Brown University.