A Victory for Whistleblowers  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Features
From AJR,   June/July 2011

A Victory for Whistleblowers   

And a humiliating defeat for the Obama administration’s misguided crusade against leakers. Fri. June 10, 2011

By Rem Rieder
Rem Rieder (rrieder@ajr.umd.edu) is AJR's editor and senior vice president.      


The feds caved completely. And that's a good thing.

The federal government had absolutely no business using the Espionage Act to prosecute former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake. Drake's "crime," for which he faced 35 years in prison? Leaking information to a Baltimore Sun reporter.

The case unraveled after a federal judge said the government would have to reveal some of the allegedly classified documents Drake was charged with holding. So the feds backed off. According to the New York Times, the result was a deal in which Drake agreed to admit to a single misdemeanor, "misusing the agency's computer system by providing 'official N.S.A. information' to an unauthorized person"' – the reporter. The prosecution also agreed not to seek jail time for Drake.

The plea bargain represents an ignominious collapse for a prosecution the government had no business bringing. Drake isn't a spy. He's a classic whistleblower, as this fine piece by The New Yorker's estimable Jane Mayer makes crystal clear.

Drake was appalled that the NSA had rejected a data collection and analysis system developed relatively cheaply in-house, opting instead to pursue an extremely costly and ultimately aborted alternative. He also was upset that the privacy protection aspects of the original system had been scrapped. So he made sure the public learned about it.

The Obama administration came into power promising transparency. But once in office it has exhibited an enthusiasm for prosecuting leakers that makes the Nixon administration look like a champion of freedom of information.

The Drake case is one of five prosecutions the Obama administration has brought for revealing information to journalists. That's more than the total number in the history of the nation. And that's in just two-and-a-half years.

Maybe this humiliating setback will knock some sense into its collective head.

"This is a victory for national security whistle-blowers and against corruption inside the intelligence agencies," the Times quoted Jesselyn A. Radack, a lawyer for the Government Accountability Project, which has supported Drake, as saying. "No public servant should face 35 years in prison for telling the truth."

###

 
 

 
If you had asked me to predict which brand would debut a new logo on its Fall 2017 runway, I wouldn't have guessed Fendi. The brand already has both an iconic logo print and logo hardware that longchamp outlet it has barely capitalized on during the recent resurgence of that look in the accessories market, but for Fall 2017, those things sit alongside the Fendi brand markers we all know and love from the 90s and mulberry replica handbags early 2000s. The new logo hardware is featured prominently on a slew of new flap bags, and it's an open circle with an F resting on its side at the bottom, as though it fell that way. The new replica designer handbags logo's best use by far is as the center of a flower made of leather petals on micro bags and bag charms, several of which made it to the runway alongside the larger bags. Fendi's Zucca logo fabric, which has long been mostly missing from the brand's bags, also figured prominently in several pieces, and now is the perfect time for it to be returning to favor among the label's bag designers.