VICTOR WALLIS – The more extreme the crimes of state, the more the state seeks to shroud them in secrecy. The greater the secrecy and the accompanying lies, the more vital becomes the role of whistleblowers â€“ and the more vindictive becomes the state in its pursuit of them.
TREVOR TIMM – The sweetheart deal the Justice Department gave to former CIA director David Petraeus for leaking top secret information compared to the stiff jail sentences other low-level leakers have received under the Obama administration has led to renewed calls for leniency for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. And no one makes the case better than famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling â€” after his conviction Monday, January 26, as a CIA whistleblower. Sterlingâ€™s indictment four years ago received fleeting news coverage that recited the governmentâ€™s charges. From the outset, the Justice Department portrayed him as bitter and vengeful â€” with the classic trash-the-whistleblower word â€œdisgruntledâ€ thrown in â€” all of which the mainline media dutifully recounted without any other perspective.
NORMAN SOLOMAN – This [past] week, in a federal courtroom, Iâ€™ve heard a series of government witnesses testify behind a screen while expounding on a central precept of the national security state: The CIA can do no wrong. Those CIA employees and consultants are more than mere loyalists for an agency that soaks up $15 billion a year and continues to loosen the bonds of accountability. The docket says â€œUnited States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling,â€ but a more discerning title would be â€œNational Security State v. The Publicâ€™s Right to Know.â€
DAVID SWANSON – Since Tuesday and continuing for the coming three weeks, an amazing trial is happening in U.S. District Court at 401 Courthouse Square in Alexandria, Va. The trial is open to the public, and among the upcoming witnesses is Condoleezza Rice, but — unlike the Chelsea Manning trial — most of the seats at this somewhat similar event are empty. The media is mostly MIA, and during lunch break the two tables at the cafe across the street are occupied, one by the defendant and his lawyers, the other by a small group of activists, including former CIA officer Ray McGovern, blogger Marcy Wheeler (follow her report of every detail at ExposeFacts.org), and Norman Solomon who has organized a petition at DropTheCharges.org — the name of which speaks for itself.
NORMAN SOLOMON – No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price — the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the â€œwar on terror.â€ Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity: focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive. Published this week, Pay Any Price throws down an urgent gauntlet. We should pick it up. After 13 years of militarized zealotry and fear-mongering in the name of fighting terrorism, the book — subtitled â€œGreed, Power, and Endless Warâ€ — zeros in on immense horrors being perpetrated in the name of national security.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Freedom of the Press Foundation calls the governmentâ€™s effort to force Risen to reveal a source â€œone of the most significant press freedom cases in decades.â€