The right of the people to know, and the ability to hold government accountable, rests on an open and transparent government and a free press.
Congress has largely abdicated its oversight responsibility. Instead, journalists, advocates and muckrakers must dig for the truth, using the Freedom of Information Act and state and local Public Records laws to liberate government documents. Whistleblowers play a vital role exposing government wrong-doing and ineptitude, but are often prosecuted. In recent years, the war on transparency has escalated as more government workers are prohibited from speaking with the media, and retaliation against whistleblowers gets ever more vicious.
The rule of law has been turned on its head, when crimes are made public (such as the war crimes exposed by Chelsea Manning, the CIA torture program exposed by John Kiriakou, or the NSA/FBI mass surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden), it is the whistleblower, not the war criminals and torturers who are prosecuted.
Whistleblowers, Journalists, and Free Press Advocates Condemn Espionage Act Charges Against Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale
One hundred and seventy three individuals and 50 organizations have joined Defending Rights & Dissent, Roots Action, and the Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at Expose Facts in condemning the Espionage Act charges against drone whistleblower Daniel Hale. Included among the signatories are other whistleblowers who have been victims of Espionage Act abuse, including Daniel Ellsberg, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakiou, and Jeffrey Sterling.
Open and transparent government took another hit when the Supreme Court ruled to broaden the definition of “confidential” materials that are exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
DRAD has joined a broad, bipartisan coalition to support reviving the Office of Technology Assessment to help them understand emerging technologies in order to tackle 21st century science and technology policy challenges.
Earlier this morning, London police entered the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested Julian Assange. Press freedom, civil liberties, and human rights groups have long opposed the extradition of Assange to the US.