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Tag Archive: Whistleblowing

Ben Wittes and Quinta Jurecic on the “Oathless Presidency”—Questions raised by deep distrust in Trump

Just Security and the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law were delighted to host an event today for our friends from Lawfare, Ben Wittes and Quinta Jurecic, for a discussion of their essay, “What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath?” I served as the discussant, and thought to write up some of the questions that I raised.…   continue »

Whistleblower Retaliation: A Governmental Accountability and National Security Crisis

The role of an Inspector General (IG) office in a federal agency or department is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and where necessary refer criminal conduct to the Justice Department for prosecution. But what happens when the IG itself is corrupt, especially in a national security context where secrecy can be used to conceal malfeasance?…   continue »

New Case Proves Intelligence Community Whistleblowers Have Protections

NSA headquarters, Ft. Meade, Md.

In December, Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the NSA, placed the agency’s Inspector General (IG), Dr. George Ellard, on administrative leave and recommended he be removed from his position after an investigation into whether he retaliated against a whistleblower was conducted by a panel of IGs at the CIA, Treasury and Justice Department.  continue »

Dissenting from Within the Trump Administration

After the presidential election, many of those who were already working in government or who were considering joining began to ask questions about the ethics of working for a Trump Administration. One of us argued in a Just Security post that those working in the federal government should stay, even if they oppose the policies articulated by Trump during the campaign, and that students should not automatically write off applying to enter the bureaucracy.  …   continue »

The Office of Special Counsel’s Oversight Role in National Security: A Home for Whistleblowers

To function efficiently and effectively, the government must promote whistleblowing by its employees. This is especially true in the national and homeland security contexts, where bureaucratic decisions can threaten the safety of U.S. forces, citizens, and basic liberties.

The vital role of government whistleblowers is exemplified by the case of a Marine Corps civilian scientist named Franz Gayl.…   continue »

Trump’s Whistleblowers—Why Pardoning Manning and Snowden Makes Sense Now


Whatever you might have previously thought about the notion of President Barack Obama pardoning Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, the election of Donald Trump changes everything. The stunning new reality, and the threat it poses to Americans and non-Americans, shifts and strengthens the case for Obama to take this extraordinary step before he departs: pardoning these two most visible critics for their illegal disclosures.…   continue »

Democratic Platitudes

[Editor’s Note: Stay tuned later today for a post from Steve Vladeck responding to this guest post by Rahul Sagar.]

In a recent post “Does Espionage Porn Make Us Stronger?” Stephen Vladeck notes that “conservative critiques” of Edward Snowden have begun to focus on his “disclosures pertaining to lawful intelligence activities.” Such disclosures have been labeled “espionage porn” on the grounds that the primary purpose of the disclosures has been to titillate readers.…   continue »