Recent revelations that expose how the U.S. government retaliates against national security whistleblowers show why it was necessary for Edward Snowden to go public with his mass surveillance leaks, author Mark Hertsgaard said in an interview with Democracy Now! on Monday.
One day after high-ranking Department of Defense official John Crane exposed the Pentagon's legacy of retaliation against whistleblowers, Hertsgaard—author of the book Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden—told Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, "you see that really Edward Snowden had no other choice but to go public."
I think that's what's important about John Crane's story, is it puts the lie to what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are saying and have been saying about Edward Snowden from the beginning. 'He broke the law, bring him home. He should face the music,' is what Hillary Clinton said. 'Face the music. He could have been a whistleblower,' Hillary Clinton added, 'and he would have gotten a very good reception, I think.' Well, I would just like to invite Secretary Clinton, tell that to Thomas Drake, tell that to John Crane, that you would have gotten a good reception by following the whistleblower law inside of the Pentagon.
Snowden reacted to Crane's revelations by calling for an overhaul of whistleblower protections, telling the Guardian on Monday, "We need iron-clad, enforceable protections for whistleblowers, and we need a public record of success stories. Protect the people who go to members of Congress with oversight roles, and if their efforts lead to a positive change in policy—recognize them for their efforts. There are no incentives for people to stand up against an agency on the wrong side of the law today, and that's got to change."
Watch Hertsgaard's interview below: