Already found one blatant falsehood in James Kirchick’s hit-piece on Greenwald, Scahill, et al

James Kirchick says:

Only one government employee has received jail time under the Obama administration for revealing classified information, and the punishment has been 30 months.

Actually, according to ProPublica’s list, I count three individuals who would meet such criteria: Shamai Leibowitz (20 month sentence), Chelsea Manning (35 year sentence) and John Kiriakou (30 month sentence). Glenn Greenwald also directs me to the recent case of Donald Sachtleben, who has agreed to serve 43 months after pleading guilty to leaking classified information (which is separate from the 97 months he will be serving for child pornography).

It’s also convenient that Kirchick omits all the pending prosecutions based on leaks of classified information in addition to the particularly chilling case of Thomas Drake (who miraculously avoided any prison time). As Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post put it earlier this year:

The aggressive investigation into the possible disclosure of classified information to the AP is part of a pattern in which the Obama administration has pursued current and former government officials suspected of releasing secret material. Six officials have been prosecuted, more than under all previous administrations combined.

(This site counts up to 8 whistleblowers charged with violating the Espionage Act and doesn’t include Sachtleben. So the number now stands at 9.)

If Kirchick’s point is that Obama has been generous in its treatment of unauthorized leak suspects, he’s sorely mistaken.

Still scanning the article for other distortions of reality. Will update this post accordingly.


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