Glenn Greenwald. Yes, that one. You know, the one who compared killing bin Laden to killing infants. The one who compared a Jewish American woman to a Nazi propagandist. That Glenn Greenwald. That dude, who recently got a gig with the Guardian, is upset that the President's campaign is defending his national security record, including his administration's prosecution of national security leaks. Clearly, in Greenwald's mind, all leakers are "whistleblowers." Clearly, Greenwald is an unquestioned proponent of transparency.
Except... except this:
Translation: "I am going to demand that the President freely release all security sensitive documents to the press, but if you lay people want to read my tweets - by design an open platform - you need pre-approval." Hilarious.
All hilarity aside, Greenwald is still reeling from the fact that the President was courageous enough to take out bin Laden, and take out functional leaders of Al Queda across the world, including an one who held a duel Yemeni and American citizenship. He somehow perpetuates the notion that the president has some sort of legal obligation to treat America's armed enemies differently depending on the front of their passport. I can't imagine what Greenwald would say had he lived in the days when whole American states full of American citizens tried to secede and another President from Illinois responded by sending in the military.
But really, he's even more upset that President Obama dares add the prosecutions of leaks among his list of accomplishments on his campaign website. Let's see if we can't quickly clear up some of that confusion. Every single hoo-ha out there blowing the gasket on every piece of classified information is not automatically a "whistleblower." Someone may not be a whistleblower if blowing said whistle doesn't actually provide useful information about corruption or illegal practices, and worse yet, when it endangers intelligence in the field. Which, by the way, is almost the entire goal of Greenwald's buddy Julian Assange, who, like Glenn, thinks that legal processes are made for other people.
What really is President Obama's record on transparency, though? Well, for one thing, his twitter account isn't locked. But taunts aside, let's have a look:
- Barack Obama is the first president in history to release the White House visitor logs. To this day, more than 2.5 million records have been released.
- In one of his early legislative actions, he signed into law sweeping protections for federal contractors and subcontractors who blow the whistle on fraud.
- Before his first year in office was over, President Obama signed yet more whistleblower-protection legislation, this time protecting regarding food safety.
- Later in 2010, when the president signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, it greatly expanded whistleblower protections in the financial sector.
- Obama's health care reform and stimulus legislations provided similar protections, and his key appointments have been whistleblower advocates.
- President Obama has been a leading supporter of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act - stalled in Congress.
Furthermore, the Justice Department has the ability to utilize prosecutorial discretion in cases that involve true whistle-blowing. Leaks exposed the previous administration’s warrantless-wiretapping program, which Bush officials argued was an essential national-security tool but many legal scholars saw as a clear violation of law. To this day, no one has been prosecuted for those disclosures, despite one former official confessing on the cover of Newsweek that he was a source.