In case you missed the original airing of the National Security Whistleblowers’ House Government Affairs committee hearing on CSPAN, it will re-air this morning at 10AM on C-span 1.
It is worth the watch as it confirms so much of what we kind of know about NSA, Torture camps and hypocrisy of this administrations mis-use of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Disclosures of flawed prewar intelligence, secret prisons and prisoner abuse, and warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency have launched a debate on the conduct of the war on terror within Congress and the American public. Critics say some of those disclosures also compromised national security.
“At the Central Intelligence Agency, we are more than holding our own in the global war on terrorism, but we are at risk of losing a key battle: the battle to protect our classified information,” wrote CIA director Porter Goss in The New York Times last Friday.
The struggle over dissent in dangerous times is not confined to national security matters, however. It appears to be settling deeper into the federal bureaucracy, where government scientists and even analysts at the scholarly Congressional Research Service – who are not actually blowing any whistles but who are staking out positions that deviate from the administration’s – report efforts to control their contact with the press and public.
Some of the witnesses:
Richard Levernier is one who went public with his security concerns – and feels he’s paid a heavy price. He first reported security breaches at the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons sites to management. Seeing no changes, he released an unclassified report to the media. While government investigators found his concerns credible, he lost his security clearance. Four years later, he’s unemployed and, he says, unemployable.
“I spent my whole life in the nuclear security business. And you can’t get a key to the men’s room without a clearance,” says Mr. Levernier, one of five whistle-blowers who spoke Tuesday before the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations.
Army Spc. Samuel Provance was demoted after disobeying an order not to speak to the press about prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. “Young soldiers were scapegoated, while superiors misrepresented what had happened…. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be associated with it,” he told the House panel.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer lost his security clearance after testifying to the 9/11 Commission and Congress about Operation Able Danger, a program that he says tagged four 9/11 hijackers before the attacks.
Former FBI special agent Michael German and former intelligence officer Russell Tice also testified that they felt they’d been retaliated against for speaking out about problems, and both lost their security clearances.
So if you need some self-validation of your many political/Bushco. outrages, this Hearing is well worth a look and listen!