News Release

“Putting the Lie” to Clinton and Obama’s Deceit on Snowden

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 1.23.15 PMMARK HERTSGAARD, [currently in NYC] mark at markhertsgaard.com, @markhertsgaard
The Guardian just published Hertsgaard’s piece “How the Pentagon Punished NSA Whistleblowers.” His latest book is the just-released Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden.

Hertsgaard’s new piece for the first time tells the story of John Crane, a top Pentagon official who was fighting to protect NSA whistleblowers — who himself became a whistleblower.

On the program “Democracy Now!” today, Hertsgaard said Crane’s story “puts the lie to what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are saying and have been saying about Edward Snowden from the beginning.”

At a presidential debate last year, Clinton claimed 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.”

Said Hertsgaard: “Well, I would just like to invite Sec. 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.”

Hertsgaard’s piece lays out the case of several NSA whistleblowers, including “Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed U.S. whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed. …

“During dozens of hours of interviews, Crane told me how senior Defense Department officials repeatedly broke the law to persecute Drake. First, he alleged, they revealed Drake’s identity to the Justice Department; then they withheld (and perhaps destroyed) evidence after Drake was indicted; finally, they lied about all this to a federal judge.” Hertsgaard’s piece documents how Crane tried to confront this, but notes that Crane himself was forced “to resign his post in January 2013.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said of Snowden: “I think he’s a total traitor. And I would deal with him harshly. And if I were president, Putin would give him over.”