Snowden spawning resistance inside the machine
So read the Oathkeepers.org billboards in the Washington, DC subway system, reminding those working within the U.S. power structure that they have sworn an oath to defend the U.S. constitution, and that they
should expose overreach of executive power and defend the civil rights that document enshrines.
The leaks Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden perpetrated have certainly generated awareness of the U.S. government's extraordinary invasion of privacy, and the impotence of society and Congress to reverse the momentum of this invasion testifies to the crippling of civil rights in the country.
Furthermore, revelations of the National Security Agency's systematic political and commercial spying—including on America's closest allies—have informed other nations that the U.S. has no compunction about stripping their rights to privacy as well.
The officials who man America's surveillance machine must by now be well aware of the shock their
work has delivered to society at home and abroad. They have consciences, and we should expect that the transgressions of the surveillance machine will breed more Mannings and Snowdens.
Evidence of resistance within the machine is now appearing, via the non-profit, non-partisan Government
Accountability Project. Styling itself as “the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization,” the GAP has become a hub for whistleblowers reporting on government misconduct.
On Thursday the GAP's Director of National Security and Human Rights, Jesselyn Radack, gave an interview to ABC News, where she emphasized that a numbers of other whistleblower have approached her organization in the months since the Snowden affair surfaced. Radack went on to imply that she expects leaks independent of Snowden to surface soon, before the close of this year.
Radack's report is all the more interesting in light of the Obama administration's well-known zeal in
pursuing whistleblowers. Well before Snowden came to light, many analysts had described the administration as waging a war on whistleblowers. The willingness of a number of officials within the
surveillance programs (and others) to report objectionable conduct is a strong comment on the atmosphere within those programs. These officials must be concerned about the prospect of facing very serious
punishment, because the NSA must be spying on the GAP, and therefore might identify them.
In Radack's eyes, the U.S. government's measures to silence whistleblowing is counter-productive. As she
concluded: “I think courage is contagious, and we see more and more people from the NSA coming through our door after Snowden made these revelations.”
VOR, ABC News, Common Dreams