This is the very definition of post-Constitutional America where legality and illegality blur -- and always in the government's favor; where the founding principles of our nation only apply when, as, and if the executive sees fit. The devil is indeed in the details.
If Bradley Manning is guilty of espionage, what does that mean for me? Am I guilty of espionage against Bank of America, QBE, and Assurant? Are all whistleblowers spies? What's the difference between a whistleblower and a spy? What could he have done better?
Today, I want to introduce you to KahInn Lee. At the start of 2012, a McDonald's franchisee used the J-1 student guestworker program to bring KahInn and other students from around the world to work at its restaurants in Central Pennsylvania.
You can hardly point out that the Emperor has no clothes if you're not even allowed to look in his direction. And that's precisely the point of the government's war on whistleblowers. The message couldn't be more clear or more authoritarian: Avert your eyes, citizens!
Mandatory reporting laws are simply wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. They would have a chilling effect on industry whistleblowers, even established long-term employees, who witness serious violations and wish to speak up.
I understand that good people can make bad decisions and do bad things. What I have a difficult time understanding, however, is the vastly different reactions from friends and associates to my felony versus my whistleblowing.
The White House recently released a presidential directive extending legal protections to intelligence community employees who expose government fraud, waste, or abuse. The directive, however, does not allow any disclosures to the media.
This week, the nation's top intelligence official announced that the government is expanding its use of the polygraph to expose federal employees. The testing could put intelligence workers at risk of being falsely stigmatized.
Those who imagine the era of overreach in the name of national security coming to an end any time soon would do well to remember that some spectacular national security trials are on the horizon -- and that we may be entering a new age of governmental vindictiveness.