What is one to do when confronted by blatant criminal actions and illegalities? Look the other way? Punch out at 5 and go home? That’s not what Edward Snowden did. His disclosures have informed and educated the people of the United States and the world about secret surveillance and massive data-gathering that the NSA and other government agencies are engaged in within the U.S. and abroad. And Snowden’s reward? Hounded. Threatened. Defamed. His passport has been revoked. Instead of encouraging whistleblowers the Obama administration has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Open up your mouth to report wrongdoing and corruption and you’ll have the book thrown at you. Obama has the dubious distinction of prosecuting more whistleblowers than any administration in U.S. history. It has not only criminalized the truth tellers but also the journalists who report on their revelations.
Ray McGovern is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer. He was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990. In the 1980s he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared The President’s Daily Brief. Today, he is active in the peace and justice movement and works for Tell the Word, a ministry of the inner-city Washington D.C. Church of the Saviour.