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For nearly three years, none of our leaders have held Trump accountable—yet we expect the Ukraine scandal to be different.
By Elie Mystal
September 23, 2019
WN: Very sad . . .
We cannot guarantee the safety of whistle-blowers. Oh, we pass all kinds of laws with fancy names like the “Whistleblower Protection Act.” Our presidents sign executive orders called “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information.” But when the rubber meets the road, when a whistle-blower wants to dish about the people in charge of enforcing the laws, all of our acts and proclamations are easily ignored pieces of paper.
Chelsea Manning lives in the Alexandria Detention Center. Edward Snowden lives in Moscow. People get to be called “whistle-blowers” only when the institutions they’re blowing the whistle on allow it. Otherwise, they’re called “criminals” or “spies” and are subjected to the full weight of the American justice system.
That justice system is currently run by Attorney General William Barr, and he is the most obvious reason our current “whistle-blower” has yet to come forward to Congress about whatever he or she would like to tell the American people about Donald Trump’s interactions with, and promises to, foreign leaders. What we know is that this whistle-blower, an intelligence official who worked at the White House, filed a complaint with Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community—and that Atkinson deemed the information credible enough to forward it to the director of national intelligence (DNI), and then to Congress. What we also know is that the Department of Justice told the DNI to ignore our whistle-blower laws and keep the information hidden from Congress.
We desperately need and want this whistle-blower to come forward and risk everything to try to bring their information to light. We need this whistle-blower to be the hero none of us, and none of our leaders, have been. We need them to try everything. This whistle-blower is a government official, and we want them to take their oath to uphold the Constitution, over the objection of this president, more seriously than the attorney general, or the speaker of the House, or the Senate majority leader, or the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
That’s a tough ask.
If you want people to come forward with criminal information about this president, it might help to hold the president accountable for the crimes he’s already committed in plain sight. Maybe then this whistle-blower—and potentially many others just like them—will find the strength to speak out, without fear that they’ll be abandoned by the country they’re trying to help.
Trump has exposed us, all of us, as a nation led by cowards. Why would a whistle-blower even want to save us, when we have so completely shown them that we are unwilling to save ourselves?
Please click on: Whistleblower