Re: Manning and whistleblowing
posted at 5:52 pm on January 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Jazz, I agree with your take on this absurd claim, but let me make another point in support. There are, in fact, a few ways that a real whistleblower with a security clearance can alert people to violations of the law or abuses of power. When granted a clearance, the newly-cleared person gets briefed on acceptable methods of alerting people to those kinds of issues — in fact, they’re usually repeated in security briefings that occur on a regular basis.
The first in the military is to go through one’s chain of command, starting with the unit leader, and if that doesn’t work, the commanding officer of the facility. The military has other options, such as contacting the Pentagon, if that doesn’t work or if the lawbreaking/abusive activity continues. Some of those allow for anonymity as well. In the private sector, a whistleblower can contact the facility security officer (FSO), or the agency that provided the clearance. Finally, if all else fails, a whistleblower can go to Congress. Certain members have security clearances which would allow for the discussion of sensitive issues, and it wouldn’t take long to figure out which of those might be sympathetic to whatever issues the whistleblower has to discuss.
None of the paths involve passing classified information to domestic news media, not “selected” documents, and certainly not in bulk. They don’t involve passing classified data to foreign media, either. If this is the best defense that Manning’s team can muster, they are in deep doo-doo.