View Poll Results: Should the law develop a way of protecting whistle blowers of criminal activities?

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  • Yes, Courts could develop a doctrine

    12 66.67%
  • Absolutely not, we should prosecute aggressively

    2 11.11%
  • Other

    4 22.22%
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Thread: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

  1. #21
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    There is considerable difference between a corporate whistleblower and international espionage, also known as treason, where information leaked can irreparably harm national security and give "aid and comfort" to our enemies.

  2. #22
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    The world is a messed up place and defending our nation is not an academic exercise by Starbuck's-sipping scholars in a classroom. Not everyone in our government is 100% perfect even 1% of the time. If it is your job to work in that world, then do your job and honor your word or face the consequences. If someone wants to "whistle-blow" about an FDA inspector not washing his hands before fondling the food, have at it, but stealing classified information is ILLEGAL regardless of what that information reveals. Allowing people to commit a crime to create some political porn and get your name in the paper is pointless and could endanger a lot of intelligence assets. And please, it was no secret whatsoever that the government was doing this stuff. Well before Snowden, this was in the news and very often was attached to the name "Alberto Gonzales"
    Your right, government doesn't know best. So how can you expect people who work in government to keep their mouths shut if the government where to perpetrate terrible crimes or crimes in general? I don't believe people who sign up to any government post sign up to that. They sign up to protect the American people first and foremost, not the twisted ambitions of one administration, or a few bureaucrats.

    And yes revealing classified information is illegal, which is why the question is compelling you to justify why it should be illegal, even if it is exposes illegality itself, or information that the public have a right to know.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    What makes you think they won't go after the press? Woops too late, they are already spying on them too. I guess one should move to China where they can be free of the evil government.
    I don't think they won't go after the press. Realistically I don't think there is any political limit as to what the state can achieve, so long as it keeps quiet about it. That to me is incredibly troubling. In turn it guarantee's it's position by hunting down whistle blowers through a web of arbitrary justifications enshrined in law.

    Maybe a legitimate right to whistle blow is a step towards achieving that democratic balance of power.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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  4. #24
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by kaya'08 View Post
    I don't think they won't go after the press. Realistically I don't think there is any political limit as to what the state can achieve, so long as it keeps quiet about it. That to me is incredibly troubling. In turn it guarantee's it's position by hunting down whistle blowers through a web of arbitrary justifications enshrined in law.

    Maybe a legitimate right to whistle blow is a step towards achieving that democratic balance of power.
    I'm on the side of the whistle blowers. The gov't has constantly lied, covered up, misled, falsified and about every other verb that denotes deception to us, the people, the citizens, the voters, the taxpayers, that they are alleged to represent. NSA lied to Congress. No perjury charges. If it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander. It doesn't appear Snowden, Assange, or Manning lied, but our representatives did and are.

  5. #25
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by kaya'08 View Post
    The United States has been caught red handed in a web of lies, deceit and subversion of the law on a scale even the most ardent of conspiracy theorists find hard to grapple with.

    From bugging the phones of allied leaders, the embassies of friendly nations and entire populations, American leaders have been scuppering to justify there illegal and/or grossly disproportionate war on privacy by insulting the memory of the victims of 9/11 and countless terrorist attacks across the nation.

    And although blaming terrorist elements for government misbehavior has become a bit of a banality since the Arabic unrest, the federal government insists it has been pushed into a corner by radicals, that it is fighting it's corner on the behalf of liberty, and that mass surveillance is it's means.

    Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have fallen foul of the United States, as it uses it's authority to attempt to smoke them out of every nation and embassy on Earth.

    But despite arguments as to whether or not these men have endangered US lives, the question remains: Should we protect whistle blowers who reveal blatantly disproportionate and obviously criminal activities sanctioned by the US government regardless of secrecy classification (ie, a legal entitlement to whistle-blowing)? Or should Courts remain indifferent as to the content of what has been leaked and concentrate instead on whether or not it can be proved that an individual caused the leak and charge accordingly (status quo)?


    Maybe the Courts could develop a doctrine to determine what constitutes a "legal entitlement to whistle-blowing".

    Like: would a reasonable actor regard the act as disproportionate, was the act contrary to the constitution of the United States and/or it's laws, was the realization of the act required or genuinely thought to be required in giving effect to the survival of the state or it's allies?

    On the other hand, maybe aggressively pursuing whistle blowers, regardless of what it is they leaked, is the only sure way of protecting U.S national security as a way of setting a precedent that leaks of any form, which could aid enemy countries, are not tolerated?

    Seeing how untrustworthy the government I think the only thing the government should be allowed to keep secret is troop movement during a time of against a country we are at war with.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  6. #26
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Since there are legal means of whisteblowing and protections against reprisal, including for members of the intelligence community, why should criminal revelation of secrets be protected.

    Besides...whistleblowers reveal illegal activities...Snowdon hasn't revealed anything illegal.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

  7. #27
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    A "whistle blower" can break whatever laws they want?

  8. #28
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    Since there are legal means of whisteblowing and protections against reprisal, including for members of the intelligence community, why should criminal revelation of secrets be protected.

    Besides...whistleblowers reveal illegal activities...Snowdon hasn't revealed anything illegal.
    Which begs the question, why are the authorities so keen on grabbing him?

    Because this sort of public exposure is increasingly drawing the attention of the American public that these "blanket warrants" permitted in law have simply legalized the rape of the fourth amendment.

    What he revealed was in the interests of the public and the international community at large. And forgive me for thinking that the public has a right to know that they are being intercepted.

    Snowden is being hunted down for standing up to a federal government that is becoming increasingly morally corrupt, a federal government that uses it's legislative powers to legalise it's behavior.

    Oh by the way:

    A whistleblower (whistle-blower or whistle blower)[1] is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest [even if perceived], such as fraud, health and safety violations, and corruption.
    Last edited by kaya'08; 11-13-13 at 12:51 AM.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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  9. #29
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by kaya'08 View Post
    Which begs the question, why are the authorities so keen on grabbing him?
    because he's a criminal. He broke his agreement for a security clearance and several federal laws

    Because this sort of public exposure is increasingly drawing the attention of the American public that these "blanket warrants" permitted in law have simply legalized the rape of the fourth amendment.
    Oh? How, exactly? I ask exactly because you'll either have the vaguest answer or make he absurd claim that the NSA can monitor everyone.

    What he revealed was in the interests of the public and the international community at large. And forgive me for thinking that the public has a right to know that they are being intercepted.
    except they're not. Are you really so arrogant you think the government gives a **** about your phone calls or emails? What you're really saying is that terrorists, Iran, China, etc have a right to know exactly how we spy on them so they can take countermeasures.

    You do realize that no intentional targeting of US citizens (without a specific warrant) has been disclosed?
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

  10. #30
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    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by pinqy View Post
    because he's a criminal. He broke his agreement for a security clearance and several federal laws
    Yes pinqy, that is why the point of the OP is to promote discussion on making the law more flexible towards whistle blowers. So the issue is no longer "he broke a law, therefore must be arrested" but instead "he broke a law but under what circumstances, given the contents of the leaks, is this permissible"?

    Simply saying "well he broke the law and should be arrested" is not only an indifference to justice, but a mandate to excuse the U.S government of using the law to shut up it's workers in order to break the law. It is a foul excuse to deprive the liberty of somebody who has exposed unconstitutional activities (stop assuming we are talking about Snowden, this is a hypothetical discussion about whistle blowing illegal and/or unconstitutional US activities in general).

    Oh? How, exactly? I ask exactly because you'll either have the vaguest answer or make he absurd claim that the NSA can monitor everyone.
    I'm not sure I understand the grammar of this quote. Are you asking me how the mass surveillance of the general populace is an invasion of privacy?

    except they're not. Are you really so arrogant you think the government gives a **** about your phone calls or emails? What you're really saying is that terrorists, Iran, China, etc have a right to know exactly how we spy on them so they can take countermeasures.
    Pinqy, are you suggesting that terrorists had no clue that there phone calls and emails were being intercepted prior to these leaks? Either you overestimate your intelligence or you underestimate theirs. The only thing terrorists have learnt from this is that they can tick one box off their Jihadist to-do list, that being: "scare the US into depriving everybody of their liberties as we do our own people". Well done intelligence services. One point to theocratic bullying.

    It's going to take a lot more than "the government isn't going to bother looking at your phone calls and emails but collect them and store them for as long as they want" to assure me of anything. I think recent events should have taught you by now that this kind of blind faith and trust in your government is misplaced.

    Not that them looking at my data is the point, is it?

    You do realize that no intentional targeting of US citizens (without a specific warrant) has been disclosed?
    It's blanket surveillance, they don't care about targeting specific people. They just harvest data and see what they get.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
    > Good to be back, but I'm only visiting for a few weeks. <

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