News Release

Debate Fallout: * Clinton’s Emails and Whistleblowers * Big Banks

Debate

Hillary Clinton at last night’s CNN-organized debate claimed that Edward Snowden “broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that. … he stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands. So I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music.” [Video clipfull transcript]

JESSELYN RADACK, Jess at exposefacts.org@jesselynradack
    Radack is national security and human rights director of the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts. Her clients have included seven national security and intelligence community employees who have been investigated, charged, or prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information, including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou. She will speak at a news conference Thursday morning at the National Press Club, see: “Unprecedented News Conference: Wife of Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower to Speak Out.”

She said today: “Clinton’s statement shows how out of touch she is with the reality for whistleblowers. Apparently, Mrs. Clinton wasn’t reading the newspapers in 2010 when the Justice Department indicted NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake for espionage as retaliation for going through all the proper channels. There were no safe internal channels for Snowden to use. Whistleblower protections do not apply to intelligence contractors. The NSA Inspector General who would have heard a complaint by Snowden, George Ellard, called him a naive, ignorant, and egotistical manic thief, and said he would have ‘explained to Mr. Snowden his misperception and lack of understanding about what NSA does.’ It’s ironic that Mrs. Clinton has the gall to lecture anyone about the proper handling of classified information given her own disregard for the rules. …

“The issue of mishandling classified e-mail is a real one because this administration has equated it with espionage. Bernie Sanders effectively allowed Hillary Clinton to dodge what might have been one of the toughest issues of the Democratic debate. I represent whistleblowers who have served time in jail or are in exile for alleged disclosures of classified information on a much smaller scale. Indeed, CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, whose wife will speak tomorrow in D.C., and Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning are currently in incarcerated. Edward Snowden is stuck in Russia. The difference is that any alleged disclosure of classified information by whistleblowers was done purely in the public interest. Mrs. Clinton’s was done for convenience. The debate made clear, once again, that if you’re powerful or politically-connected, mishandling classified email can be brushed aside.”

NSA Whistleblower Tom Drake, who will also speak at the Sterling news conference tomorrow, has defended Snowden, writing in the Guardian: “By following protocol, you get flagged — just for raising issues. You’re identified as someone they don’t like, someone not to be trusted.” This has been articulated by other NSA whistleblowers, see also from USA Today: “Three NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so.”

NOMI PRINS, via Jaime Leifer, jaime.leifer at publicaffairsbooks.com, @nomiprins
    Prins‘ books include All the Presidents’ Bankers. She said today: “Of the five Democratic candidates, only Senator Sanders and Governor O’Malley are pressing for the resurrection of the Glass-Steagall Act to split the speculative risk-taking activities of banks from their deposit-taking ones, which would reduce the too-big-to-fail problem. In 1999, Senator Sanders voted against the repeal of Glass-Steagall that occurred during the Clinton administration. He has been unwavering in that view. The big six banks in this country have 43 percent more deposits, 81 percent more assets and three times the amount of cash they had before the financial crisis. A major reason America has such an inequality problem is that it has a highly concentrated, establishment-supported casino banking system that disperses capital toward more risky endeavors than infrastructure building and small and mid-size business support.

“Hillary Clinton is not ahead of the curve regarding shadow banking, she’s conveniently neglecting the fact that shadow banks are generally financed or otherwise fortified by the megabank, the big six of which control about 97 percent of trading assets and 95 percent of derivatives in the U.S. Thus, fixing the conglomerate bank issue a la Glass-Steagall by extension would reduce risk in the overall system. Focusing on shadow banking instead of supermarket, FDIC backed banks that have Federal Reserve window access and have had seven years of zero interest rate and quantitative easing policy subsidies, while important, is deflective of the wider problem and the dangerous current construction of the entire banking system.” See Prins on “The Clintons and Their Banker Friends.”