US lawsuit against Snowden is a warning to other whistleblowers to keep their mouths shut, says fellow whistleblower
The US government is suing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for his memoir profits not just to punish him, but also to intimidate others into staying silent, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou tells RT.
“The CIA takes every opportunity to threaten whistleblowers and to warn whistleblowers to just keep their mouths shut,” Kiriakou said, explaining how no ex-intelligence agent trying to speak out publicly has ever prevailed against the government in cases where they did not get their books “cleared” with the agency before publication since a precedent-setting case in the 1970s. “They lost every single time.”
Hours after the United States government filed a lawsuit seeking to punish the publication of my new memoir, #PermanentRecord, the very book the government does not want you to read just became the #1 best-selling book in the world. It is available wherever fine books are sold.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 17, 2019
In this case, Snowden has already been paid – and both he and his money are safe from Washington’s clutches in Moscow – leaving the whistleblower’s unfortunate publisher to pick up the tab. Macmillan Publishing was named as a co-defendant in the civil lawsuit filed on Tuesday, which accused Snowden of violating his non-disclosure agreements with the CIA and NSA by failing to submit his book, “Permanent Record,” for pre-publication review.
But the government’s determination to “punish” Snowden is actually helping him (and his publisher) by creating a public controversy, Kiriakou pointed out.
The CIA is saying you shouldn’t read this book because it has secrets in it. That’s going to make everybody go out and buy the book so that they can read the secrets!
“If the government really was threatened by the information, if the information really was so secret that it needed to be protected, they would have gotten a court order to pulp the book,” the former CIA agent continued. “They didn’t do that, so in reality they’re not threatened by the information in this book.”
The information is already out there – Snowden is just repeating it – but they’re just trying to punish him and punish the publisher for not following the rules. It’s very petty, actually.
“The system is clearly broken,” Kiriakou lamented, pointing out that existing channels for whistleblowers to disclose information the legal way are blocked or dysfunctional and the “dangerous precedent” set by the Obama administration’s Espionage Act whistleblower prosecutions has snowballed under Trump.
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